John Randall was born in the West Coast General Hospital in Port Alberni, BC – long before the amalgamation of Port Alberni with Alberni. John’s mother and father owned the Alberni Grocery so it was actually in Alberni that John grew up and learned the very real value of hard work.
In 1950, the family moved to Lulu Island where they purchased another grocery store and John, now 15, got his first driver’s licence. He always reflected that this made delivering groceries a whole lot easier than riding his bicycle up and down the hills in the Alberni Valley!
After a short time back in Alberni, the family moved to Sorrento in 1954 and purchased a store on the corner of Notch Hill Road and Dilworth Road. In 1957, John took an active part in helping his father move that building down to the new route of the Trans-Canada Highway. A lunch counter and gas station were added. (Much later, and under different ownership, that building became Toby’s Restaurant.) In 1960, the family business was sold and John set off for Calgary to become a barber. After cutting hair for a number of years, though, John realized he needed to return to Sorrento to ensure his mother, widowed in 1966, was well looked after. John and his mother went on to share the family home for many years; during this time, John worked at the sawmill at Adam’s Lake as a lumber grader until his retirement in 1987.
John was a well-known resident in Sorrento for many years and, after his retirement, he could often be found at Toby’s or the Home Restaurant having coffee and shooting the breeze with his friends. When John had to move into Salmon Arm in order to get a little extra help, he developed two other favorite spots to meet with his friends – PJ’s Restaurant and the down town Tim Horton’s.
John was predeceased by his father Albert (1966), his nephew Edward (1996), his sister Frances (1997), and his mother Edith (1998); he leaves behind his niece Marilyn (Murray) Forbes and her family, as well as cousins and their families in Canada, England, New Zealand and Australia. John also leaves behind many treasured friends. John was a wonderful story teller. He was kind, generous, funny and caring; he will be greatly missed by everyone who was privileged to know him.
Our thanks go to all those staff members who made John welcome in his old restaurant haunts and his favorite downtown businesses. Our thanks also to the staff members at McGuire Lake Congregate Living and, most recently, to the dedicated staff at Hillside Village. Our thanks go also to Dr. Trow, Dr. Wilms and Dr. Rose for always taking the time to truly listen!
There will be a funeral service and interment at St. Mary’s Church in Sorrento on Saturday, April 09, 2016, at 10:00 a.m. followed by a tea which will also be held at the church.
No flowers by request: if so desired, contributions in John’s memory may be made to St. Mary’s Church for the upkeep of the cemetery (or a contribution to any other charity of your choice would also be welcome).
Arrangements are in the care of Fischer’s Funeral Services and Crematorium, Salmon Arm (250) 833-1129. Email condolences and share memories of John through his obituary at www.fischersfuneralservices.com.