1930-2023 ~ Having lived an exceptional life, John (Jack) Leslie DeLair has begun a new adventure. Sadly, he leaves his family and many friends to mourn his absence.
Jack was born October 4th, 1930, on the DeLair homestead in Abbotsford, B.C.
He was the eldest son of Thomas Jewell and Daisy Isabelle DeLair, the fourth child of an eventual total of nine.
Jack met and married Elisabeth Klassen in 1951, a marriage that lasted until Betty passed away in 2018.
He is survived by his daughters, Pat (Wayne) Furness, Deb (Peter) Flynn, Ellen (Herb) Geisser and Karen (Blen) Scott.
He was predeceased by his daughter, Jeanne, in 1978.
He had so many occupations and activities that it is difficult to list them. He was a big game guide and trapper in the Cariboo, a Conservation Officer, operator of a small logging company and a farmer.
He served two terms on the Fraser Valley Regional District Board, one term on the Board of Directors for B.C. Hydro, one term on the Skagit Environmental Endowment Commission and twelve years as Project Manager for Seattle City Light. He earned the award ‘Friend of National Parks’ from the U. S. National Parks Service, and a life membership in the B.C. Wildlife Federation.
Dad was the quintessential environmentalist. He knew the land he lived on and was fiercely protective of it. He provided access to his property for students to learn about the species of fish that inhabit the Fraser River, he always had a big garden and was famous for his ‘DeLair Giant Onions’.
He is the reason that his kids all have bird feeders, all have gardens, and all eschew the use of pesticides.
He loved his eleven grandchildren completely, and was so proud to welcome each of his fifteen great-grandchildren. He had a curious mind and an active and quiet sense of humour.
We will miss our Dad and Papa, but we are so proud of his life, well-lived.
Now when I’m dead, and when I’m gone, I have but one request,
Don’t dress me up in a suit and tie, for my eternal rest.
I’d like a pair of redstraps, new ones, just store-bought,
A work shirt, freshly washed and pressed, and boots that fit like they ought,
Tuck a hanky in my pocket, for I’ll have need of that,
Fill my cuffs with good sweet hay, and don’t forget my hat!
Now, bury me on my tractor, make sure it faces west,
For baling hay right into the sun, why, that’s what I like best.
St. Peter wasn’t a farmer, but I bet those gates are wide,
I bet they hold the traffic up, to let mowers and balers inside,
And then, won’t I be happy, in Heaven’s eternal day,
Where the fields roll on forever, and it never rains on the hay.