John Wilcox

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Delivered by local organic Farmer, Harry Burton

at the Celebration of the Life of John Wilcox.

July 1, 2012

John Wilcox Tribute

Welcome to this Celebration of our friend John Wilcox.

We’re all going to miss our friend, John.

A measure of how John affected his world, is the huge number of people here today to celebrate his life.

You are all JOHN RIPPLES.  John’s efforts would send out ripples and we even a distance from him, would be effected by those ripples.  Your boat would rise up and down.

To our local organic group, John was the like the drummer in our band.  The drummer keeps the rhythm and pace of the music.  The drummer is the energy or driving force in the band.   John was like the heart beat of our group.

John would have loved to be here to see you all today, and he is probably here somewhere, smiling, because, John had a little kid spirit inside him, that would show up often, with that little John grin.  That little twinkle in his eye..

Magically enough, Sue also had that kid spirit and that is one reason they got along so well.


John was both and by doing that, he always led by example.

And boy, could he talk.

Right now, John is up there, trying to learn how to channel message through to you.

When John turned 60 in 2001, he remembered that south end character, Dave Beck, had a 60 hour party at Beaver Point Hall.   John vowed that he would not speak for 60 hours.  We have no record of whether he did or not.  It would be hard to imagine.

On of the things I remember most about John, is his debating tenacity.

We would be at local organic meetings and it would be about 10 minutes before the end of the meeting.  Everyone was anxious to get home.

John would jump up, and start talking about issues.

Everyone would just roll their eyes back and sigh.  But we knew 3 things for sure.

a)  Everyone wanted to go home.

b)  No one was going to stop John from bringing out these issues.

c)  We all should have been as keen as John about these important issues, but did not have John’s drive to deal with them.

I was a John Wilcox STUNT DOUBLE.  John would do all sorts of great things for people;  I would get thanked.   People would come up to me and start thanking me for something, I did not even understand.  Then it became clear.  THEY THOUGHT I WAS JOHN.  So a SSI photographer, Linda Matheson Reynolds, took a photo of both of us and wrote on it.  I’M  JOHN      I’M  HARRY.

I never had anyone say anything bad about John.

If there were 4 things John would want us to do to remember him.

a)  Enjoy people, even the ones that have different views than you.  John had a few of those in opposition because, he was usually swimming against the current, battling big money or governments, trying to make the world a better place for farmers.

b)  Eat good food.  Grow it if you have a chance.

c)  Work hard, but also take some time to play.

d)  Never EVER, EVER give up on anything that you believe in.

About 2 weeks before he died, John got up to speak at the Life Celebration for Garnet Lee, a south end farmer.  Garnet, a director at the Farmer’s Institute was not organic and used Round Up at his farm.   John said simply, that in the last part of Garnet’s life, he had told John, “John, I AM BEGINNING TO UNDERSTAND YOU.”  That meant a lot to John, since Garnet was not necessarily an Organic Grower.  It gave John some peace.

On the Monday after John died, Sue and the SUE TEAM, arranged to have John’s body at the farm for 2 hours.   John was laying in a beautiful coffin, made by the Sue Team, looking just like himself and quite comfortable.  On the foot end of the coffin was a BC licence plate with the word CANUCK.

JOHN looked peaceful.  Friends had gathered to see John for the last time.   There below him were the beautiful lush fields with garlic ready to harvest.  The gathering was strength building having so many friends there.

Then about 5 PM, we gathered in a circle, his daughter, Lisa,  said a prayer, a few songs were sung, and then the coffin lid was put on and a Canadian flay was draped over the coffin.  As the coffin was taken to the vehicle, Valdy sang

HE WAS A FRIEND OF MINE, with a John version of the song.

It was beautiful.

And you know, that was the first time that John never said a word.   John was know as a debater.

It was also the first party he missed in a long time.  This Fulford Hall Celebration will be the second.

Valdy sang it best:   HE WAS A FRIEND OF OURS.

Notice of John Wilcox Death

Hello, friends and associates of John Wilcox.

I am sending out this message to his contact list, so you may not know him personally. I am sorry for duplicating this message to some of you. I am sorry about the short notice for today viewing, his celebration life will be, or course, on Canada Day. Please contact me if you need more information or billeting.  The obituary is attached.

My, our, beloved John has moved into the cosmos, with a bang.

He had heart racings for a month, and was awaiting medical followup.  i took him to the hospital on Thursday night as he wanted to get oxygen, as he couldn’t breathe well lying down. He was so fearless, and made it so for me. He called me Friday morning after a good night’s sleep, and at noon I went to see him. He was just finishing reading The Four Agreements, and asked me, with that twinkle, to bring him his book on Reincarnation to read next, so he could give the medical staff a hard time.

Then he was off to a xray, so i returned 2 hours later, to find that they were working so hard to save him. I take great comfort in the doctor’s view that he would have been diminished had he recovered, as he had a blocked vein in his neck as well as his valve. He chose well, and he went quickly and painlessly, and i was allowed to be with him for many hours afterwards, which helped enormously. And, as you can imagine, his presence is as strong as it always was. He has left an enormous legacy for us to drawn on into history.

One thing you can do to honour the memory of John Wilcox is to support your local farmers. Often.

Pay the farmer, or pay the hospital, it’s your health, your choice. They won’t survive if we don’t support them.

with love, Sue

“First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.”  Ghandi.

Other Articles on John’s Amazing Life

John Wilcox Canuck

John Wilcox Is Turning 60


John Wilcox and the Fight for the Tuesday Market

And some more great pictures

Click on and image to see the full version