John Robert Butler, formerly from Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, passed away at the age of 70 at his home in Cowichan Bay, BC, on May 10, 2022, from leukemia.

John was born on January 26, 1952, in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan. He often commented that he had an ideal childhood which he credits to his loving parents, siblings, extended family, and friends. Formative summers spent at the beach with family or afternoons exploring local coulees with friends were among the many early foundations for a lifelong enjoyment of adventures and new experiences.

John graduated from Central Collegiate, in Moose Jaw, and then attended the University of Saskatchewan where he earned an Arts and Science Degree along with a four year Education Degree. After teaching in Wynyard, for one year, he returned to Saskatoon where he taught for over three decades. He had a remarkable passion for teaching young people, both in the classroom and on the football field. Generous with his wisdom, humour, compassion, and energy, he was able to reach students through an innovative curriculum to inspire the mind and nourish the individual. In 1997, John was proud to be awarded the Inspired Teacher Award from the University of Regina, College of Education.

In 1983, John married Chris (Warkentin). Being a caring, engaged, and supportive husband and father was his most valued calling. He delighted in coaching his children, taking camping trips, building treehouses, summer vacations, and watching all their activities. He was deeply proud of all his children. In recent years he found profound fulfillment in being a Grandpa, which brought him exceptional joy.

John had a passion for knowledge, was an avid reader, and a lifelong learner. With a gift for storytelling and a welcoming demeanor, conversation was always easy with topics ranging from politics (with his deep commitment to social justice), to sports, history, literature, and everything in between. A true renaissance man, he was a teacher, mentor, and learner who could be found fixing classic British sports cars, building award-winning model aircraft, playing baseball, trying out new recipes, and a myriad of other hobbies. Anyone who knew John was aware of his passion for music, which was a constant throughout his life, and provided deep comfort in his final days.

John created a lasting impact on his community, friends, and family. He is survived by his wife Chris, and their family: Jessica (Rob Ondzik) Butler, Michael (Magdelyn Asimakis) Butler and granddaughter Lola Butler, Katelyn (Scott) Gateley and grandsons Pierce and Noel Gateley. He is also survived by his brother David (Arlene) Butler and family, and sister Louise (Frank) Gyrlevich and family. He was predeceased by his parents Arthur ‘Art’ and Helena Butler, father-in-law Gerard Warkentin and sister-in-law Jean Warkentin.

In keeping with John’s wishes, there will be no funeral service. We ask that you think of John when you give someone a helping hand, have a good laugh with family and friends, or enjoy a peaceful moment with nature.  And, we ask you to take a moment to smile when you see a British sports car, notice a football practice at your neighbourhood school, or are listening to some ‘good’ 60s music. A donation to your favourite charity would be kindly appreciated.