August 9, 1940 – April 13, 2020
At first, we thought it was one of Jan’s bad jokes, sadly, he didn’t emerge with that usual twinkle in his eye and smile on his face.
Born in Coutts, Alta., Jan was four when his parents, Myrt and Bill, moved the family to West Vancouver. Jan became an avid skier and won several trophies for slalom and moguls when his dad operated a ski lift on Hollyburn Mountain.
At 12, the family moved to a farm in Langley and farming would be a theme throughout his life.
Jan was a master carpenter who took pride in his projects and passed that and his strong work ethic on to his four children: Tracy, Cameron, Terri and Troy.
Within a month of meeting his second wife, Judi, he told her they would be married, and they were, happily, for over 34 years. Judi also brought four children to the marriage: Allison, Cheryl, Steve and Jeff. He and Judi have 17 grandchildren and 6 greats between them, and Jan was proud of every one of them.
He loved being out in nature, was a hunter, a great cribbage player and blatant card cheat when playing with his grandchildren, teaching them to watch like hawks and laugh like loons when they caught him.
He worked for several years with his sons, Cam and Troy, creating a special bond that allowed them to spontaneously pull off good-natured spoofs on unsuspecting co-workers, store clerks and restaurant servers.
Jan and Judi once spent eight hours blowing up balloons and “decorating” Cam’s shop in retribution for an earlier stunt.
His clever limericks, little ditties and odd sayings are used throughout the family and he was known for charging either a dollar-three-eighty for a family job or two and Â½ cents.
Jan’s last years were spent in Pioneer Park with Judi, where they joined in on many events and made friends. Their red and white splendored golf cart won top prize in the annual Canada Day parade.
While he had several health issues in his last few decades, his tenacity to bounce back was admirable and earned him the nickname of “tough old coot.”
Just a few weeks ago, Jan mentioned that “he was going to be 80, you know.”
Jan died of a stroke a few months after his younger brother, Darryl, passed away.
He leaves behind fond memories, a legacy of hard work and a wish for just a little bit more time.
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