John was born in Wimborne, England on November 4, 1927 to parents Arthur and Gwendolyn Sansom. Having reached his 90th year, he passed away peacefully at home in Salmon Arm on March 28, 2017 with his family beside him.
After schooling, service in the Royal Navy and training at Winchester College, John embarked on a forty-year career in education that was to span four countries – England, Nigeria, Sweden and Canada – and included students all the way from kindergarten to college age. Twenty-one of those years were spent in School District #83, first at Eagle River School, Sicamous, and then at Shuswap Junior Secondary. John was a well-respected colleague and always had the best interests of the students at heart, getting to know as many of them as possible on a one-on-one basis.
In 1961 John and his new bride Irene emigrated from the UK to Canada. They spent the first few years in a prairie teacherage in Irvine, AB, then Medicine Hat, then Sicamous, and in 1969 found their permanent home in Salmon Arm. This was where they put down roots, the family grew up, and lifelong friendships were formed.
Having been a geography teacher, John had a passion for travel. The family had holidays in the UK, Europe and the USA, then after retirement he and Irene had several longer, independent trips and in later years discovered the joys and ease of cruising. Technology was another interest of John’s – from amateur radio to computers; he tried to keep up with the changes! Probably his favourite pastime, though, was reading; he was a happy man when he had a new book to explore and enjoy.
But above all the joys of career and hobbies, it’s safe to say that the family were the central focus of John’s life. He was a loving husband, a wonderful father, and a caring grandfather. He is survived by Irene, daughter Karen, son Brian and his wife Tess, and three grandsons – Jeff, Devin and Ron. Also surviving are family in England including his brother, Derrick and sister, Jill. He was much loved and will be sorely missed!
If so desired, contributions in memory of John may be made to the Shuswap Community Foundation, Sansom Endowment Fund which has been established to provide an annual scholarship at Okanagan College.
A Memorial Service was held for John at the First United Church, Salmon Arm, Tuesday April 4, 2017.
Online condolences may be forwarded to the family through John’s obituary at www.bowersfuneralservice.com