John Campbell Shillabeer
Born: May 5, 1945 Edmonton, Alberta
Died: August 18, 2017 Nanaimo, BC
It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of a legend. On August 18th, John Campbell Shillabeer passed away peacefully in his sleep after a long and courageous battle with Cancer. Loved by many, and ‘feared’ by those on the ice, John was a compassionate, loving, and humble man. John’s greatest loves were his family, work, and hockey; he devoted his heart and soul to each of these.
John was predeceased by his parents John Athol “Jack” Shillabeer, Eanswythe Ethel Shillabeer and his brother Robert Ean Bertram Shillabeer (survived by Kelly).
John is survived by his devoted wife and soulmate Heather Joy Shillabeer (Robinson). His children Jackie (Kevin), Heather (Mike), Shander, Brad (Kelsey), Helen Dawn, Amanda, and Brigitte who are grateful for the “Spider!” screams, the vacuuming, their memories of the “Easter Pig”, Tombstone movie nights, and the encouragement to always do their best. John’s grandchildren Madison, Chloe, Emma, Isabelle, Drayvin, Gavin, and Barrett will forever carry the memories of their beautiful grandfather. His sisters Catherine (Dennis), Audrey (Ian), and Mary (Tom) will miss their big brother’s strength and love: he was their ‘Rockstar’. Maureen, mother of Jackie and Heather, will continue to share the memories of John’s beginnings with family and friends.
John’s love of fishing began in his early years when he would fish the waters of Alberta with his hero: his Papa and namesake. This passion continued when he moved to Vancouver Island in 1985 and acquired the first of many boats: “Chaos”. John, who quickly gained the nickname “Skipper”, loved spending quality time on the ocean with family and friends. John’s storytelling, quick wit, and endless sense of humour will forever be remembered by all who loved him.
John’s “love of flying” and traveling led him to many destinations; however, his favourite trips were with family and friends to Disneyland, Julia passage, and Bucerias. With each trip he was able to share his youthful exuberance for life; his laughter will echo in his loved ones hearts forever. John wanted everyone to know that his entire life “overflowed with fond memories”.
Included in these memories were his years of employment at a variety of drugstores including the Driard Pharmacy, Value Drug Mart, and Pharmasave. He loved his occupation as a pharmacist and business owner, and he treated his staff and customers like family. He had a work ethic like no other, and received the highest award in customer service from the BC Pharmacy Association: the Bowl of Hygeia. John expressed great pride in the numerous awards his store received, and he was always proud of his Pharmasave family.
Hockey was an integral part of John’s life. From a very early age, John was on the ice. He played for years in Alberta and continued to ‘chase the puck’ when he came to the Island. His obsession with ‘green’, his one liners in the dressing room, his unquenchable thirst, and his incredible love for his hockey family followed him throughout the years. Hockey also gave John the venue to pursue his other passions: giving back to his community.
John’s compassionate heart led him to many years of volunteer hours serving the communities of Wetaskiwin, Fort McMurray, and Parksville/Qualicum. John believed that one should always extend a hand to those in need; he demonstrated this consistently throughout his life. John leaves his family and friends with parting words from his favourite poet Rod McKuen: ”Out of the sad mistaken belief that as a man I must behave as all men do. I’ve turned my back a time too often. God, help me keep a resolution that I make today: not to walk head high even one more time past someone I can help.” John’s legacy of kindness and generosity will live on through those that knew and loved him. Thanksgiving will never be the same...
No service by request. In lieu of flowers, loved ones in Alberta can make donations to the Wetaskiwin & District Heritage Museum.