John Robert Michelson
February 14, 1924 ~ May 17, 2012
It is with profound sadness that we announce the passing of our wonderful husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather, John Robert Michelson, on Thursday, May 17, 2012 at Creston Valley Hospital.
John was born February 14, 1924 in Lipton, Saskatchewan on the farm his parents had homesteaded in the early 1900s. His mother, Rosa, had immigrated to Canada from Gontenschwil, Switzerland while his father, Brian, was from Grantham, England. John endured the hardships of both the Depression and the war years while faithfully ensuring the survival of the family farm. In 1949, he married the local school teacher and love of his life, Blanche (nee Urzada). In 1955, John’s adventurous spirit spurred him to leave behind the farm and move his young family to BC to seek out a new life. He fell in love with the mountains and, as his family grew in size, he pursued careers in construction and logging in various parts of the province before settling in Castlegar. In 1961, he began his own logging company with his friend Leo McCarthy. A near-fatal logging accident led him to switch paths and begin what would be his most satisfying and lengthy career as manager of the Castlegar Airport.
John made major contributions to community life through his work in various capacities as well as with numerous organizations including the Castlegar and District School Board, the Selkirk College Board, Blueberry Creek Irrigation, and the United Way.
His strong work ethic was a defining characteristic, but his most important legacy was his great love of family. He was a kind and gentle soul whose integrity was matched by his generosity of spirit. John was a great storyteller, and his family and friends can attest to his repertoire of great tales that he delighted in sharing. His love of storytelling was equaled by his love of music and his innate ability to pick up any instrument and play a tune.
John was predeceased by his son Lester; parents Brian and Rosa; his brothers Richard and William, and his sister Rose.
He leaves to mourn his cherished wife of 62 years, Blanche. He was the caring and generous father of Charlotte (Casey Messinger), Lester (predeceased in 2010), Jim (Maureen) and Debra (Kerry Spring). He was the adored and adoring Papa and Grandpa of Brent (Jessica), Darin (Bree), Chelsea (Aaron), Laurie (Justin), Bradley (Melanie), Kristi (Jody), Jennifer (Shane), Meghan, Aaron and Kieran.
He was delighted to be great-grandfather to a growing brood of (eleven and counting) great-grandchildren.
A Memorial Funeral Service will be held Saturday, June 16, 2012, at 11:00 am at the Redeemer Lutheran Church with Pastor Harry Haberstock officiating.
The family is indebted to the staff at Harris Unit, Swan Valley Lodge, for the caring and loving attention they gave to John, and to the nurses and doctors at Creston Valley Hospital for their great compassion in his last days. We also wish to express our thanks to Dr. Merritt for his support and care of John prior to his move to Creston.
John will live forever in our hearts.