John Hoem

Johnny Harold Hoem was born on January 11, 1938 at the Royal Columbian Hospital in New Westminster, B.C. He was the third of four children born to John and Marta Hoem.

His parents were Norwegian immigrants who settled in Annieville, an Anglo-Norwegian fishing community.

John was a mischievous youngster. He often got himself into trouble because he would not do as he was told.

He developed a good sense of humour and loved to tease and needle his brothers, sister and friends.

John’s father was a commercial fisherman who owned a fishing boat and a shipyard on the Fraser River.

John and his brothers spent a great deal of time working with their father building and repairing fishing boats.

In June they would polish their father’s boat, a gill-netter, in preparation for the salmon season, which ran from June to October.

They would begin the season by fishing in Smith’s Inlet and Rivers Inlet for four-to-six-weeks before returning to the Fraser River for the remainder of the salmon season.

John loved the carefree lifestyle of commercial fishing.

In 1955 John graduated from Trapp Tech High School in New Westminster and began his career with the provincial government shortly thereafter.

He was hired as a clerk at the Government Agent office in New Westminster.

In 1957 John transferred to Quesnel. During the summers he would work out of the Gold Assayer’s office in Barkerville.

It was here that John was first bitten by the Cariboo bug. He loved the outdoor life of fishing and camping. He also took up the sport of curling.

John transferred to Courtenay in 1963, vowing to one day return to the Cariboo. In 1964 he met Arlene Bardessono, the love of his life. On September 24, 1966 they were married.

A year later, John was promoted to Deputy Government Agent in Port Alberni. Their children, Jeff and Joanne, were born there.

In 1970 John was appointed Deputy Government Agent at the New Westminster office where he had begun his career.

In 1978 John was promoted to Government Agent in Williams Lake, returning to the Cariboo he loved. He served until he retired in 1991.

John was active in the community as member of the Rotary Club of Williams Lake and the Sons of Norway.

During his retirement he loved to go fishing and camping with his family.

John became a grandfather in 1996, a role that defined his remaining years.

His three grandchildren enjoyed his stories, playful teasing and funny faces.

John passed away peacefully in his home on the evening of January 30, 2004.

He leaves behind his wife, Arlene; his children, Jeff and Joanne; his grandchildren, Monica, Brad and Paige; his sister, Margaret; his brothers, Palmer and Allan; his half-brother Bernt, in Vestnes, Norway; and many nieces, nephews and friends.

He will be dearly missed by all.


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