John Connor

Obituary of John Connor

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It is with Heavy hearts that we announce the passing of John Connor, resident of Dawson Creek, British Columbia, on Tuesday, February 15, 2022, at the age of 90 years.  

John Edward Connor was born on Wednesday October 28,1931 in Toronto, Ontario to parents Barbara (nee Gray) and James Connor.  He was the second born child, the first being big sister Barbara and followed by little brother James (known to the family as Jimmy).


His first job was at a bowling alley setting up bowling pins for three cents per line. He saw that as a waste of time, so he went out into the workforce and held various jobs - making vacuum cleaners, work as a pressman and finally joined the CN railway in 1949 and worked for CP in 1956. He held various positions in the railways - shovelling coal at 20 years old taking pride that he was the first one there and the last to leave.  He eventually became an engineer and worked on various trains from steam to diesel. Trains were a lifelong passion, and he told many stories of adventures on the track (from hitting a moose while going across a bridge, to derailments, to being stuck in the pine pass overnight due to timing out on hours and having to wait until his time clock reset to continue on). He retired from BC RAIL in 1996.


As a young man, John loved to dance, and he did so, to Big Bands in North Toronto…he loved to wear tailored suits and danced five days per week.  It was at one of these dances that he met Nora Uphill.


In 1968, John married Nora and five years later, in 1973, they drove across Canada to settle in Dawson Creek so that he could work at BC RAIL.  A story he tells is that on the journey they blew the radiator out of the car because he didn’t know that he needed to put in coolant.  He got the problem fixed but it cost over a thousand dollars.  He only had a thousand cash on him, so he offered the mechanic a record player that he had brought with him as well and the bill was considered paid in full.   


He loved animals and had three dogs in his life that he doted on, but his true love was horses.  He loved going to the track, spent time scouring books on horses, horse training, and betting.  He even ended up buying a horse in 1983- “Kan-do Romeo” and he became his pride and joy.  Kan-do won a pace race in Saskatoon at Marquis Downs, August 4th, 1986, and the pride he felt was immeasurable.   


John loved his sports and he hated to lose - whether it was on the golf course, bowling, snooker table, or racetrack.  He loved to play crib and did so with anyone who was willing. Many hours were spent in the basement of his home playing crib with Pops (his dad - whom he moved West to live with John and Nora until his death in 1988).


John loved to read and enjoyed everything from finance to health and wellness.  He could talk about a variety of subjects and enjoyed a good debate.


John loved his family in Ontario and drove back every year to Toronto to see family and stay connected with his siblings and their extended families.  Each year he came back, it was like a big family reunion.   Many a great holiday was had around a swimming pool or backyard bar-b-que.      


John was a real character and his sarcastic wit and salty comebacks made for some comical memories for all who knew him.  He had many friends in many circles from the golf course, senior’s hall, “Rotten Ronnie’s” am/pm coffee crowd, bowling alley, and the Travellodge restaurant, which he went to almost daily.  John’s health began to deteriorate with COPD, and this slowed him down, but his life was still full.  He never let having to take “Sally” (his portable oxygen device) with him wherever he went, stop him from doing the things he wanted to do. 


John cared deeply for Tanya Enyedy, who was two years old when John and Nora moved in next door.  Tanya spent many hours in their home and the bond they formed from years of shared experiences, resulted in John placing his trust in her to manage the most important thing in his life - his affairs. 


John had a soft side that not everyone got to see.  One such moment, 14 years ago, came shortly after Tracy Heartt’s father had passed.  John showed up to her office and asked to see her to “apply for the job opening”.  When Tracy asked what he meant, he said “I heard someone’s dad passed away and I’m here to apply for the job”.  And since that day, has been known as “Pa” to her and her family - he often referred to her as his “daughter” as he and Nora had no children of their own and five years ago, John and Tracy drove across Canada together to have her meet his “Ontario family”. To say that it was an adventure, would be an understatement. 


John had a picture that hung in his apartment that read: “When I say I love you more, I don’t mean that I love you more than you love me.   I mean I love you more than the bad days ahead of us, I love you more than any fight we will ever have.  I love you more than the distance between us, I love you more than any obstacle that could try and come between us.”


Both Tanya and Tracy hold dear that the last words they both had heard from John (and Pa), was “I love you more.”


John passed peacefully in the Dawson Creek hospital February 15, 2022.  We hope he is enjoying a cold Alexander Keith’s, with Pops, after a winning day at the track.  A perfect Trifecta.   


A Funeral Service will be held on Friday, February 25, 2022 at 1:00 pm in Reynars Funeral Chapel. Pauline Haycock will officiate. Interment will be at a later date. 

Very Respectfully, Reynars Funeral Home & Crematorium

A Memorial Tree was planted for John
We are deeply sorry for your loss ~ the staff at Reynars Funeral Home & Crematorium
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