First Memorial Funeral Services

375 Brae Road, Duncan, BC



June 27, 1924July 28, 2020

John Dudley Tolman III, affectionately known as Jack by his sisters, was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota to parents Mary Isabelle Wood and John Dudley Tolman II on June 27th, 1924. Shortly after his birth, Mary passed away and with his father busy working away as a mining engineer John grew up on the farm with his two sisters, Ruth and Betty, graduating from Emo High School in 1942. He then went on to briefly work in an Ontario gold mine and then a smelter in Trail, BC before joining the Canadian Navy serving as a stoker on the river class frigate HMCS La Hulloise (K668) in the North Atlantic for the last 2 ½ years of World War II. After the war John returned to Northern Ontario where met and married his first wife Grace, raising daughters Lynne and Karren and sons Jake and Norman. During this time, he worked in three different pulp mills learning his trade as an electrician. When British Columbia Forest Products was starting up a new pulp and paper mill on the island in 1957 John brought his family to Crofton and soon after transitioned to his position as an electrical supervisor. After separating from his first wife, John met and married Nadine in 1967. From that point they were inseparable, doing everything together, especially dancing, which when you saw them move together was something to behold. They resided in Genoa Bay for more than fifty years raising their two children, David and Roanna. John was also an avid fisherman spending much of his spare time on the water with his family and always playing ‘fish guide’ to relatives visiting from all points east of the Rockies. John completed his time at the mill (then Fletcher Challenge) in 1987 after 30 loyal years. Following a year of consulting for construction of another paper mill in Northern Alberta, he retired for good. For the next 33 years he spent his time travelling and visiting family and friends, taking fishing trips and cruises, and checking items on his to–do list but mostly just enjoying life at home in Genoa Bay, being there for his family, and helping any neighbours with their electrical problems. He was a wonderful man with a generous heart and an infectious smile. He was often heard saying “It’s a great life if you don’t weaken” exemplifying this by surviving his first bought with prostate cancer to remission and living with leukemia for years, a feat not possible without Nadine, always there caringly by his side until the end. John is survived by his loving wife Nadine, daughters Karren Vachon and Roanna McCormack (Darrin), sons Norman and David Tolman (Deborah), granddaughters Traci and Sonja, grandson Ben, and great grandsons Nicholas, Noah, and Brennan. He was predeceased by his sisters Ruth and Betty and later by his daughter Lynne and sons James and Jack (John Dudley Tolman IV). No service has been planned at John’s request and in lieu of flowers, the family respectfully encourages donations to Cowichan District Hospital Foundation, where John was so well cared for these past seven weeks.


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