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John Swierstra

July 11, 1934 ~ April 21, 2022 (age 87)

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At midday on April 21,2022 our dad, John Swierstra passed away peacefully with both of his daughters at his side.

John was born on July 11,1934 in Friesland, The Netherlands, the youngest of 12 children. Dad had many stories about life during World War 2, both the struggles and the beautiful resiliency of people. A very blessed day for their family was when the Canadian army liberated them and Dad decided then that he wanted to live in Canada. Lucky Us!

While he was studying Engineering at UBC he met our mom, MaryAnn Wilcox, who was studying nursing. They were married on May 3, 1958. The party was just getting started and the addition of 2 daughters, Nancy Lynn and Kathleen Sharon, were just the spice they needed.

John was hired by INCO upon graduating and 3 of us moved to Thompson Manitoba in April 1960. Mom was so happy to see all the lakes and trees that she declared it home and they stayed until dad retired in March of 1989.

Life in Thompson was never dull with a busy family. Dad was active in St. John’s United Church, curling, toastmasters, our cabin at the lake, horticulture society, and many hours with Free Masons and Shrine Club.

Early retirement brought them to Salmon Arm BC where they thought they could grow an orchard and market garden. They enjoyed the hard work which was its own reward. In 33 years in Salmon Arm they made many friends through the First United Church, Garden Club, neighbours, and Free masonry.

In dad’s last years he would walk everyday to see mom in the care home where she resided and passed 2 daycares. He even made friends with the young children he saw every day.

Dad, you and your many stories, will be missed by so many folks. That is surely a sign of a life well lived with the biggest heart ever. With all our love from your wife, children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and nieces and nephews around the world.


In lieu of flowers, donations made to the First United Church, in memory of John would be appreciated

450 Okanagan Ave SE, Salmon Arm, BC V1E 1H6 


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