John went home to be with the Lord on August 16, 2010 at the age of 81. He was born in Gnadental, Ukraine on October 10, 1928 to John and Justina Bergen, the oldest of six children. At the age of 9, John witnessed his father being taken away from the family and community, leaving him to become the “man of the house” and assuming great responsibilities. Shortly thereafter, John’s youngest brother passed away. In 1948, John, along with his mother and siblings, immigrated to Canada arriving in Coaldale, AB. He met the love of his life, Martha Stanke, and they were married in 1954. He apprenticed as a welder in Lethbridge, AB. Then moved to Clearbrook, BC in 1955, to work as a welder, start a family farm and raise a family. Because of circumstances and experiences of his youth, Dad’s life’s ambition was to have a farm so he could be self-supporting and provide for his family. In 1965, the family moved to Notch Hill and has been in Salmon Arm area ever since.
John worked for Newnes Machine and had his own welding business on the family farm. John enjoyed building things, working on the family farm, and helping the church. He was one of the founding members of the Deo Lutheran Church in Salmon Arm. John loved jokes, telling stories, and studying history. He was very straight-forward and to-the-point. He did not believe in cutting corners and took great pride in the quality of his work regardless of the job. He was fair, honest, and always helpful. Above all things, he loved family.
John is survived by his loving wife Martha, daughter Lindy (Don) Arnot, son Alex (Anita), son Jim (Lydia), grandchildren (Andrea, Alison, Christine, Meredith), (Stacey, Jennifer, Eric), (Victoria, Andrew), and great-grandchildren (Alyssa, Ethan), siblings sister Annie (Jake) Hildebrandt, brothers Peter, Bill (Annie), and Henry (Mary Ann) and many nephews and nieces.
The family would like to thank the staff of Piccadilly Care Centre for looking after John’s needs in his last days. We appreciate your hard work and commitment.
The memorial service will be held on Friday, August 27, at 10:30am at the Deo Lutheran Church, 1801-30th Street NE, Salmon Arm, with Rev. Eric Bjorsen officiating. Interment will follow at Mt. Ida Cemetery. All are invited to join the family for a time of fellowship and remembrance at the church after the interment.
Arrangements entrusted to Fischer’s Funeral Services and Crematorium Ltd., Salmon Arm. (250) 833-1129.
Condolences and share memories at www.fischersfuneralservices.com. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Piccadilly Care Centre or Shuswap Lake General Hospital.