John passed away with his family by his side on December 29th, in his 89th year.
Beloved husband of Marjorie for 65 years. Cherished father of Kathleen (Bill) Troost, Scott (Maggie) Acheson and Gail (Irving) Leitner. Loved Papa of David (Georgia), Amy (Alastair), Will (Porsha), Michael, Erin and Jessica (Shawn), and delighted Great-grandpapa to Alexia and Sophia.
John was born in Boissevain, Manitoba where he grew up with his parents Margaret and Sidney and his sisters Marion, Eleanor and Lally.
Just after the outbreak of the Second World War, John volunteered for the Royal Canadian Air Force, and trained as a navigator in Regina, where he met Marjorie, the love of his life. In early 1943, on his third mission, his Halifax bomber was shot down, and John, the only survivor, was captured and shipped to Stalag Luft 3 (of Great Escape infamy), where he spent the rest of the war.
After the war, John studied to be an actuary. He graduated from the University of Manitoba as the Gold Medalist with a Bachelor of Commerce degree. He joined Dominion Life of Canada in 1951, where he became president in 1971. He retired in 1986 when Dominion Life was acquired by Manulife Financial Corporation. During his career, John was a director of numerous corporations and not-for-profit organizations, including the YMCA and the Kitchener-Waterloo United Way.
John was an ardent golfer and curler at the Westmount Golf and Country Club, where he enjoyed all 19 holes. He was also an avid cribbage player, who enjoyed taking money from all opponents.
In accordance with John’s wishes, cremation has taken place. A service in Celebration of his Life will be held at 1 PM on Sunday January 9th, 2011 in the Chapel of the HENRY WALSER FUNERAL HOME, 507 Frederick Street, Kitchener, ON. There will be a reception following the service.
In lieu of flowers, donations made to the John and Marjorie Acheson Foundation for Kids Ability or the Kitchener-Waterloo YMCA would be appreciated by his family.
Visit www.henrywalser.com for John’s memorial.