John was born in Barrhead, Alberta in 1951. He grew up on a farm. At age of 11 he moved with his family to the town of Barrhead , then to Edmonton, at age 13. John was always involved with hockey and was a natural, playing on the best teams, along with his older brother Bill. He got his first car in 1970, a Mustang. Sadly he had a bad accident with it in Prince George and almost lost his life. After he recovered, he decided to go to Reno, Nevada to play hockey along with his brother Bill. They both played on the Reno Aces for one season, then moved to Las Vegas to play on the Las Vegas Outlaws team. John and Bill did well, they were like superstars in Vegas. Then John decided to move to New York and played for the Long Island Ducks. He bought a 1972 Kawasaki 750, a motorcycle known as the widow maker as the fastest street bike in its time. When he decided to leave New York and go back to Edmonton, he drove the bike back. It was not made for the highway and he lost 20 pounds by the time he got to Edmonton. He raced it at the old Speedway Drag Strip a few times, no helmet and wearing a t-shirt, shorts and sandals. That was John, NO FEAR. Now it was time to go back to Vegas but before they left, were offered an audition for a part in a movie called “Slap Shot”. They did not think it was for real and passed on it. Too bad, they could have been the brothers from Canada. This they regret.

After John and Bill returned to Vegas to play hockey again, sadly John had an accident that changed his life. He was at a pool party. People were jumping off the roof into the pool. When John went to jump, a shingle tore off the roof. He slipped and under shot the pool, clipped his head and suffered a spinal cord injury, which was damaged but not severed. Three different doctors said he would never move any body parts from the neck down. But John would not give up. Approximately one year later, he began with moving one toe, then more and more. After lots of physio, he was walking on his own. He regained about 70% of body movement but not enough to skate again.

Now back in Canada, according to John, came the best thing that ever happened to him. He met Cory, the woman that would be the mother of his son, Cody. John always said Cody is his reason for living. Sadly, John and Cory parted ways in Cody’s youth. John was a single father and did well in this role, with many pictures to prove it, always smiling, both John and Cody.
John also enjoyed drag racing and yes, he was very good. He was always competitive, never got nervous. He worked with me, his little brother, David, so we did that together. In most cases, John won. He has the trophies to prove it. Everybody at the shop liked John as he was easy going.

We will all miss him, many stories to tell. He lived a good life. It was only the last 15 years when the paralysis started to set in. Fortunately he had about 25 years of good health to enjoy with Cody. With John’s disability, it was never easy. He stayed fit to make the best of it. He did have a hard life but was always happy. He enjoyed playing the lottery, trying to figure out a system. He did win lots but lost more LOL. He never let his handicap get in the way. He has a granddaughter, Helen Kay, Cody’s little girl, approximately 1 ½ years old, that became John’s new reason to not give up and keep living but sadly he got an infection in the hospital that took his life quickly. If anyone would like to attend his Celebration of Life, it will be on June 23rd at 1:30pm, Sunday, at David T’s Auto Centre.

John spent the last 1.5 years of his life in the Royal Alex Hospital, having many different problems. Like John said, “I’ll bounce back” and yes, he did, many times, just not the last one. John’s favourite drink was Mezcal / Tequila. I smuggled it in when I went to visit. Then we could have a shot together. So if you like mescal or tequila, have a shot for him.