John Dalton

John Dalton

January 27, 2020
We grieve the loss of John Dalton, husband, brother, uncle, great uncle, successful businessman, real estate investor, barber, hockey player, Canucks fan, musician and singer, sculptor and nature lover. John was at heart, a creative, fun loving man with a great sense of humour. Born to artistic parents, Bob and Mary Dalton, John spent his first year of a happy childhood on a houseboat on the Thames river in London, England. The family moved to Canada in 1956.
Family folklore has it that John’s first words as a child were “we’s broke”, supposedly imitating words he’d heard his parents utter. Not long after that he made the childhood decision to become a millionaire by following his great-great grandfather’s advice to “Keep your eyes in the gutter and never spend even a penny more than you earn”.
A recognized leader as a child, he formed several clubs and teams in which he enrolled his many friends, including the bottle-hunting club, a mini army cadets and several backyard hockey leagues. He was a girl magnet from the get-go, and this charisma was only enhanced with the formation of a successful teen band in which he was the lead singer and which played bars and events in and around Toronto.
He met his wife of 46 years, Regina, at art school in Toronto where he studied sculpture. Together they bought their first house in the Riverdale area of Toronto which quickly doubled in value and inculcated the real estate bug in the two of them. Wanting to find a more secure foundation than art or music for a career, John studied hair-styling and went to work for a large Bay Street hairstylist in downtown Toronto.
Eventually the couple sold up in Toronto and moved closer to Regina’s family in the West, choosing Abbotsford. Over the years they built up a portfolio of rental properties which they managed alongside John’s barbering business for which he also built up a loyal clientele.
John participated in local hockey leagues, playing into his early sixties. He lived simply and unobtrusively, spending as much time in nature as possible, canoeing or hiking with his dogs from their hillside cabin in the Fraser Valley. With Regina he traveled the west coast and throughout North America, to Mexico, the Caribbean, Hawaii, and once even by bus when Greyhound offered Canadians a discounted round-the-US trip as a thank you for the Canadian Ambassador sheltering American citizens after the Iran crisis.
John’s Toronto family gradually followed him out West. In 1980 he helped his parents find their perfect retirement home on Mill Lake from which they toured the world for many years. In 2003 his brother, Keith moved here for health reasons and they rediscovered their childhood bonds after so many years apart.
Keith’s children and their growing families soon followed providing John and Regina with an extended family of beloved nephews, nieces and their offspring who made up for the children they never had themselves, a choice they consciously made due to John being burdened with a bi-polar disorder of genetic origin which appeared episodically throughout his life since his late teens.
Despite these difficulties John never lost his sense of humour and gentleness nor his interest in music, art and sports nor his deep love of family. And he always knew that it was thanks to Regina’s commitment to him that they managed their challenges so well through their almost 50 years of life and marriage together.
John died at Abbotsford Hospital on January 27th, 2020 a few weeks shy of his 71st birthday. He is survived by his wife Regina, his brother Keith (Linda), sister Anne (Phil), his nieces Zoe (Hamilcar) and Theana and nephew Aron (Kim), as well as their children who he enjoyed so much, Joaquim, Gilles, Miguel, Bailey and Kya, all of whom already greatly miss this loving man.
A service in memory of John will be held at Trinity Memorial United Church, 33737 George Ferguson Way in Abbotsford on February 11th at 1 pm.


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