Lt. Colonel (Ret’d) CD
John passed away peacefully at home with his family at his side. He was born into a pioneer family on Salt Spring Island. His great-grandfather, the Reverend E.F. Wilson was the first permanent vicar on Salt Spring in the late 1800’s, and his grandfather, Fred Crofton, came to Salt Spring from Ireland in the early 1900’s. Fred married Nona, one of Reverend Wilson’s daughters, and together they owned and operated the original Harbour House Hotel. Fred and Nona had seven children, known as the seven D’s, as their first names began with a D. John was predeceased by his father Lt. Col. Desmond Crofton; his mother, Ida Crofton; sister, Sylvia Gale, and half-brother, Donald Corbett. He is survived by his loving wife, Marie, and his dearly loved sons, Desmond (Lat) in Hong Kong, Kevin (Lynn) in Gibsons, and Neil (Christine) in Victoria. John was very proud of his two grandsons James and Evan, and his granddaughter Leila, all of whom brought great joy to his life. He is also survived by his large extended family of nieces, nephews and cousins and his dear aunt Denise at Lady Minto Hospital on Salt Spring. John was educated at Glenlyon School, Oak Bay High, and UBC. He joined the RCAF at the age of 17 and trained as an air gunner, but he came down with scarlet fever and the war was coming to an end by the time he recovered. He continued his education at UBC and on graduation worked in broadcasting at CJIB Vernon. When the Korean war began, John was recruited to rejoin the RCAF and he had a long and interesting career, including postings to Whitehorse, Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto, Edmonton, Victoria and France. One of the highlights of his career was serving with the UN peacekeeping forces in the seventies, stationed in Damascus. On retirement from the Air Force he and Marie returned to Salt Spring to the old family home and he was active in community affairs. He had many interests and he took courses from Simon Fraser University in Biblical Archaeology, Shakespeare, and Art History among others. One of his great loves was jazz, and he never forgot at the age of 18 on leave in New York, seeing many of his idols performing in Greenwich Village. John and Marie later moved to a seaside cottage on Salt Spring and spent many years enjoying their life by the ocean before illness caused them to move to Victoria to be closer to their family.
“Goodnight sweet prince, and flights of angels sing thee to thy rest”
With many thanks to Dr. Peter Innes for his compassionate care, to the wonderful nurses of Home Care and Palliative Care, and a very special thank you to our dear friend Tammy Collins for their loving care of John.
A private celebration of John’s life will be held at a later date.