Our beloved dad passed away in Edmonton January 28, quietly and peacefully in his sleep. Predeceased by his wife, Sarah, he is survived by his three children: David Dear (Laura); Donna Yekimchuk (Mike) and Donald Dear (Natalie); four grandchildren: Julie Yekimchuk, Nicholas Yekimchuk (Darby), Griffin Dear, Marcie Dear; and one great-grandchild, Rydan Yekimchuk; along with many nieces, nephews, and friends.
Born in Montreal, John hired on with Canadian National Railways there full-time in 1950, marrying the love of his life, Sarah, in 1953. Starting as a locomotive fireman, shoveling coal on steam engines, he worked for CN 39 years, a career that eventually saw him retire as a senior manager (Superintendent, Transportation) in 1989, having worked in Montreal, Smithers B.C., Edmonton, and Kamloops. John was a proud railroader all his life; one glance at his CN memorabilia proved you could take the man out of the railway, but you couldn’t take the railway out of the man.
In retirement he and Sarah moved to Kelowna and then Penticton, where they spent many happy years enjoying the Okanagan and travelling in their motor home, before returning to Alberta to be closer to their children and grandchildren, settling first in Calgary and then Okotoks. When Sarah passed in 2019, John stayed in Okotoks, then moved back to Edmonton in his final months.
Funny, smart, hard-working, dedicated, a devoted father and husband, John’s compassion and care for Sarah in her final illness were an example of love and loyalty few will ever match. The trove of happy memories he leaves with his family and friends will eventually erase the pain of his passing.
At John’s request, cremation will be followed by a small private memorial service at a later date. Donations in his memory can be made to a charity of the donor’s choice.
The family wishes to send a special thank you to the staff of Lewis Estates Retirement Home for their care and attention to John during his time there.