John Stewart McGifford
It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of John Stewart McGifford.
John was born on Oct. 8th 1933 to Hugh and Isabella McGifford in Simpson Saskatchewan. He was the ninth child in a family of ten children. As a young child, John was raised on a farm, and it was there that his love for animals, especially horses were established. At the age of eleven, his family moved from the farm to the city of Penticton B.C. There were new and exciting changes for John, such as the adjusting from a one room school incorporating all grades, to a grade six class of forty seven. John excelled in his school grades and made many new friends, some friendships lasting well into his retirement years.
As a young man he worked at various jobs in the province of B.C. He picked fruit in the orchards and worked in the packing houses of Penticton, also in the lumber mills in Port Alberni and on construction sites in Quesnel. In 1953 John returned to Penticton, married and was employed by the city of Penticton in the domestic and irrigation water division. He then pursued a career in hydraulic engineering and continued his employment with the city, as an Engineering Supervisor in Public Utilities. It was during this time he raised his family of two sons and a daughter, and he and his wife fostered thirty-two foster children which gained them recognition in receiving an award of “Foster Parents of the Year” in 1965. It was a busy time for John as he purchased an orchard and hobby farmed, raising and training American Saddle bred horses which he thoroughly enjoyed. Many of his holidays were spent traveling to various exhibitions showing his horses.
After 25 years of employment with the city of Penticton, John took an early retirement in 1981, travelled to Nova Scotia, remarried, purchased a farm and pursed a business in a beef cattle operation. It was at this time John’s life changed, as he accepted God’s plan of salvation and became a born again believer. It was through the radio ministry of the “People’s Gospel Hour” in Halifax that he heard the gospel and he has been a faithful supporter ever since. Years later, John felt led of God to support the poor and persecuted Jews in Israel and around the world, through the ministry of International Fellowship of Christians and Jews. This gave him a strong sense of satisfaction and joy . Genesis 12:3 “I will bless those who bless you….”.
In the year 2008 John was diagnosed with stage 3 bowel cancer. After leaving the doctors office, following his diagnosis, John’s first words uttered were “ if this be the start of my journey home, so be it”. He had bowel surgery and was treated for six months of chemotherapy. In 2009 he had a second bowel surgery and continued to look to the Lord for a healing. John put his faith and trust in the scripture of James 5:4 “Is there any sick among you ….let him call for the elders of the church ….
A ceremony for the anointing of oil was performed and John put his life in the hands of the Lord. He remained cancer free and gave testimony of this scripture to many, especially those that were battling cancer, giving them hope.
In 2005 John retired from farming at the age of 72. Even though there were no cattle on the farm, he still remained active, mowing his fields and maintaining fences and out side buildings. In 2006 John and his wife took a holiday touring Scotland which inspired him to research his family history, as his parents were immigrants from Scotland. Using his computer skills, a genealogy program and searching Ancestry.com, John produced a family tree consisting of over six thousand people. The highlight of all the work he accomplished in building this family tree, was the making contact and establishing a lasting relationship with two cousins in Scotland.
John’s health declined following the sale of the farm in Tatamagouche and the moving to a new location in Lower Onslow. He had been blessed with good health and loved to be active. His “to do list” was carried in his shirt pocket, so his hands were seldom idle. Consequently these health changes presented many new challenges for John in his ability to perform tasks that required physical activity. So on April 18, 2018 God, who knows what is best, decided to call John home. He left this earthly place to see his Lord and Savior and join loved ones who had gone on before.
John will be greatly missed by his wife, family and friends.John was survived by his wife Lauretta, Lower Onslow, N.S three sons and a daughter. Daryl, Penticton B.C. Darcy (Beth) Penticton B.C. Kevin (Becca)Merritt B.C. Diane,Penticton B.C. and many grandchildren and great-grand children.
John was the last surviving child of ten siblings.
Funeral Service will be held Thursday, April 26 at 2pm in Grace Independent Baptist Church, 295 Glenwood Dr., Truro, Pastor Ron Ruse officiating assisted by Pastor Ian Kurylyk. Reception following in the church basement. Interment in Lower Onslow Clarke Cemetery. Donations in John’s memory can be made to The Peoples Gospel Hour, P.O. Box 1660, Halifax, Nova Scotia, B3J - 3A1. Arrangements under the direction of Colchester Community Funeral Home, 512 Willow St., Truro.
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