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John Charles Bradley Pettifer

September 7, 1938 ~ December 8, 2023 (age 85) 85 Years Old

John Pettifer Obituary


John Pettifer was a man one could always count on. Across all aspects of his personal, professional, and spiritual life, he was forever ready to share his labour, love, and generous spirit. John was a man of principles and conviction, and a true gentleman, who, in partnership with his wife Barbara, devoted many hours to Scouting, the Salvation Army and various community causes. In everything he touched, and with every person he befriended, he was welcoming, supportive and kind.

John was born and educated in England. He joined the Scouting Movement as a Cub in 1946, laying the foundation for a lifetime involvement that would eventually bridge to him becoming the chief executive officer of Scouts Canada in 1992.  While still in England, John began his professional career in sales and management with Hoover Ltd. and completed two years of national service with the Royal Corps of Signals prior to emigrating to Canada in 1963.

Upon arrival in Canada, John took up employment with the Singer Sewing Machine Company, followed by work as a Lay Parish Assistant with the Lutheran Church in St. Catharines, Ontario. Following that, he took on various staff positions with Scouts Canada. The latter brought John incredible joy and the opportunity to connect with people across the country. He approached each new challenge with an open heart, embracing the gift he was given to help better the lives of others through the Scouting program and never shying from the teaching of “Duty to God,” which he lived in Scouting and in life.

John married the love of his life, Barbara Williams, in 1974. Together, they would support each other, always grounded in the value of service to others. The Salvation Army was one of their greatest loves, with Barbara having previously served as a Salvation Army Officer, and John coming to the organization via the intersection with Scouting. Together, they provided volunteer leadership to the Salvation Army in the various locations where they lived.

In 1999, John retired and with Barbara, returned to British Columbia. They chose Penticton as their “forever home” and John soon became immersed in new interests and hobbies, but always still serving those in need.

Throughout his lifetime, John earned various awards and honours, including Scouting’s highest recognition, the Silver Maple Leaf Award and the Queen’s Medal for the 125th Anniversary of Canada.

John lived well and full, finding joy in his time at home and also in personal and professional travel to many different countries, including Costa Rica, Switzerland, Germany, Holland, Portugal, Mexico and locations throughout the United States.

Upon reflecting on John’s life, one of the sincerest compliments we hear is that he was “a good man, a good friend, and good company.” He enjoyed being surrounded by people, bringing them into his home for dinner, and sharing the bounty of his garden, which he tended so lovingly.

John has now “Gone Home” to be with the Lord, but the memory of his spirit and the goodness it nurtured will live on forever.

John is survived by his wife Barbara, his brother, Richard Pettifer and sisters Gillian Almeida and Margaret Roberts, and their extended families in England and Australia.

 A Celebration of Life service will take place on Saturday, January 13 at 2 p.m. at the Salvation Army Church, 2469 South Main St., Penticton, B.C.  V2A 5J1  .  In lieu of flowers, we invite you to consider a donation in John’s name to The Salvation Army ``Partners in Mission Appeal`` at the above address.

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