March 17, 1950 – November 20, 2021
In loving memory ~
It is with sadness that we announce John’s parting on November 20, 2021, at Kootenay Lake Hospital in Nelson B.C. John was born March 17, 1950, in Brighton, England. He leaves behind Sandra Nelken, his partner of 23 years; and her daughter, Rachel Nelken.
John was a true academic. He received his MA and PhD degrees in English from the University of Alberta. His doctoral dissertation was on “Aristotle’s Virtues in the Writing of Jane Austen.” The central theme of this work, the practical application of ethical theory to situations and experiences, informed much of John’s later writing on issues such as euthanasia, world hunger and abortion.
John taught briefly at the University of the Bahamas, then at Thompson Rivers University (Cariboo College). He taught at Selkirk College, from which he retired after 21 years. To be able to teach in both English and Philosophy, in 1997 John took a year sabbatical during which he completed his second master’s degree at the University of Calgary, this time in Philosophy. Such cross-appointments are rare, but John’s passion for ideas, and especially his commitment to social equity, led him to achieve academic expertise in two disciplines. A wonderful accomplishment.
While at Selkirk College, John served a term as Department Head in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences. As one of his colleagues asserted,”I will always remember John as Chair of the department caring for each member.”
John loved the outdoors where he spent much of his time pursuing self-propelled activities such as cycling, hiking, cross-country skiing and snowshoeing in the West Kootenay wilderness. He was an avid dog lover; and always had a dog by his side.
John lived his life as he wanted, having no regrets about the path he chose to follow. May he rest in peace.
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