John David LetniakJanuary 9, 1923 ~ March 5, 2017 (age 94)
Good afternoon everyone. For those of you who might not know, I am Kirk Sortland. I married Melonie Letniak, Wayne and Barb’s oldest daughter. I’m honoured to be asked to say a few words in remembrance to John. Uncle John or Uncle John Deere to many. Those that knew John very well knew he wasn’t big on service side of funerals so I will keep it fairly short and informal.
John David Letniak was born January 9, 1923 in the old Consort hospital to John and Mary Letniak. The youngest of 5 children. John attended grades 1-7 at Westville school, grade 8 and 9 at Broadview school. He then quit school to help on the family farm.
When my cousin’s little boy found out we were busy at Uncle John’s 94th birthday this past January he proclaimed, “Wow ,Uncle John got to have 93 Christmases. He thought for a minute and said “He must have been in World War Two then!” Due to the fact that John was needed on the farm he wasn’t able to go help fight that war.
Johns bought his first piece of land in 1952. All his life If John wasn’t out farming he was keeping updated by talking to friends and neighbors. And was always up to date on what was going on. Hi love of horses from an early age served him well as for many years they were a necessity on the farm. John lived in town with his love Audrey for several years. He drove to the farm everyday to do what he loved….farm. Waving to many friends and neighbors along the way, cause we all know they watched for him.
Many kept a very watchful eye open for Johns low speed excursions to and from the farm every morning and evening.
Everyone knew John and always stopped for a hello or quick chat. And John not only knew everyone but if you were from a long time local family he could give you your family history with often some humorous or embarrassing anecdotes to go along with it. He was always interested in what you had to say and seldom forgot what he heard.
John wasn’t only an uncle he was a great, great uncle. Which Audrey always made sure he wrote on the cards they gave for EVERY occasion. John was a little awkward around Daphnie at the start, being the first baby in the family of that generation. Over the years he grew more comfortable and with the frequent visits the last few years they grew quite close. I know kale felt that they had a close bond and his loss has been felt heavily. To this generation he was a Three times great Uncle.
Many of his bar room friends, I am sure have been missing his visits the last year or two. John used to stop in, in the afternoon to get a visit it before heading home for supper.
John was predeceased by his parents John Sr. and Mary, siblings Emma, Dan, Lil and Pete and his love Audrey Krick.
He is survived by his sister in law, Lil, several niece and nephews, having no kids of his own he treated these as his children.
As we are coming onto spring and calving time, this would have been one of John’s favorite time of the year. He lived a good long life of 94 years. Last fall when he came out for supper he was holding onto my arm as he came up the walk to our house. He stopped me and said “Don’t ever get like this.” I replied that if you were going to live to be 93 years old you were bound to get like that. He stated that he never planned to get this old but just kept living. Well John got his wish the other day and was able to go home where he could be reunited with Audrey. It was awful sad for lots of us but he is free and happy now.
Well I think I can here John thumping his middle finger down on the table now wanting me to wrap this up. As I said before he didn’t care for the service side but would make sure he was at the lunch afterwards for the visiting and fellowship. So at John’s request please join us for lunch.
Memorial Tributes may be made in John's memory to the Consort Hospital Auxiliary, Box 276, Consort, AB, T0C 1B0.
Heather Caseley, Funeral Director of Coronation Funeral Home, Box 358, Coronation, Alberta T0C 1C0 was entrusted with funeral arrangements. 403-578-2928