John A. G. Ibbitson passed away suddenly March 1, 2004 in Manson Creek, B.C. He was born to Gerald A. Ibbitson and Chloe J. (nee Johnson), in Lancaster, England September 8, 1943.
The family moved to Amherst, Nova Scotia, Canada in 1945. When John was young the family moved to the Fraser Valley, B.C. The damp climate pushed them north to McLeese Lake.
John attended school in McLeese Lake and Williams Lake. He worked at the local mills, one in MacAlister and Ross’s Sawmill in McLeese Lake.
Around this time he met Nancy and they married in 1962. During their union they had three children, Dean, Wendy and Bob.
With the family growing, John decided he would change careers and headed for the bush, as his father before him did.
In the bush John was a faller, machine operator, and later equipment owner/boss.
During his years in the industry, he worked for many companies, including Garner Brothers from Quesnel, Hrynkewich’s in Williams Lake and Schreyer’s Horsefly/Likely area, to name a few.
In the early 1980s John helped start his two sons in the world of motocross, as pit boss/mechanic. How could they not shine?
In 1985, after a couple of rough years, John headed north to an area he’d visited his sister before.
John drove into the valley and knew he was home, in the remote 1800s gold town, Manson Creek, two-and-a half-hours north of Fort St. James.
After building his home, starting life again in Manson Creek wasn’t hard as John brought along his tire machine, which was a family heirloom and a huge asset for the valley.
John spent his early years in Manson Creek working underground in the mines around Germansen Landing.
When it was time to come to the surface he worked road right of way, pulling fellow friends and neighbours from the ditches and parading his 1945 era Bedford down the one street of Manson Creek.
The truck was always full of firewood for the one’s who needed it.
In later years John worked for Bernard’s Plumbing and Mechanical, and Angel Jade Mines, (J.T. Thomas) and any odd job available.
John spent his leisure time like any young man might, participating in radical quadding, and extreme sledding. Most mornings John spent time with friends having morning coffee and shooting the breeze or spending time in his shop tinkering to make his new purchases modified to his taste.
There have been many tales of John over the years and here’s a few to mention.
While there were onlookers John stood beside a 45-gallon drum, jumped and there he was on top of it.
Another time he’s one of the only people to fix a skidder tire on site and fill it up with a bicycle pump, or while sledding jump higher and further than the competition 25 years his junior.
John was a remarkable man and his loss will be felt for many years by family and all his many friends from the Yukon to the U.S. border and beyond.
John is survived by his children Dean (Kathy) of Williams Lake, Wendy (Rob) Blair of Langley, Bob of Williams Lake.
He is also survived by his grandchildren Lindsay, Raine, Amelia, Matthew and Jake; sisters Barb (Del) Webb of Germansen Landing, Mary (Paul) Blazine of Montana, nephews and nieces, and Nancy.
He is predeceased by his parents Chloe and Gerry, friends Loren ‘Chutz’ Schwantes, and Ronald ‘Shorty’ Wright.
A celebration of life will be held September 4-6, 2004 in Manson Creek, at which time John’s ashes will be dispersed atop Baldy Mountain. For more information contact Dean or Kathy at 392-6630.
In lieu of flowers donations can be made to the Manson Creek Historical Society at Box 638 Fort St. James V0J 1P0 or Wolfridge General Store in Manson Creek V0J 2H0.