The hammer is quiet and the shovel is still….John J. Woikin passed over on July 16, 2013, in his sleep, after an exuberant and lovely day with his granddaughter, in Vancouver.
John was born in Ootischenia on February 28, 1932. Horse logging with his father at a very early age was where he began working with all sorts of machinery, and his skill quickly surpassed many already seasoned workers in many trades. His talent of being able to clearly and concisely fix any job stayed with him for the rest of his life. He always worked with his hands and head. As a teenager, John mastered the art of a backhoe within 2 hours, to the surprise of his new boss. He stayed on the job for 10 years, helping build many of the streets, sidewalks, and building foundations of Nelson. He worked for numerous years at KFP, and also moved to Vancouver where he successfully “fixed” the other machine operators work, time and time again. John was very proud of this! John built the family home on the top of Mill Street in Nelson, and also helped his son Ken to build at Six Mile. The grandkids grew up having Deda (and his favourite companion, Benji) around, helping out with his backhoe and hammer.
His idea of relaxation was physical labour, which continued to amaze us up to his last day. John was always tinkering, turning, teching, updating, rearranging, re-leveling, and reinventing. In his retired years, he was happy to spend the whole day out in the shop, or in the garden. Together with Verna, their garden was and continues to be an amazing spectacle. John did take time out, however, to have coffee regularly with his friends at the Mall.
There was never an adventure that John turned down. Whether it was traveling to Mexico, Hawaii, Cuba or California, or taking a drive down to the states, he was always for it. The road was never too long to drive up north for work or into a quiet lake for fishing. He found adventure in fixing the unfixable. And there was never a garage sale left undiscovered.
John leaves behind his wife of 59.5 years, Verna, his son Ken (Wanda) and his precious grandchildren Alexander (Crystal), Courtney (Steve) and Christopher. He also leaves his sister Mary (Doug) and brother William (Joan), extended family and friends. He was predeceased by his nephew Ryan Woikin, his parents John S. and Nellie Woikin, his infant daughter, and favourite dog Benji.
A Celebration of Life in honour of John will be held at a later date. We would like to extend a very big thank you to family and friends who have sent love and support, through caring visits and phone calls. In lieu of flowers, in memorial donations would be appreciated to the Kootenay Lake Hospital.
Vechnaya pamyat v tsarstviyi nebesnom.