John Harvey Duerksen

John Harvey Duerksen

July 8, 1944 – June 29, 2017

It is with great sadness and rejoicing that the family of John Harvey Duerksen, announce his passing on Thursday June 29, 2017 at the Nanaimo Regional General Hospital. He was predeceased by his Mother Mary (Franz) Duerksen in 1969, his Father John L. Duerksen in 1987 and his brother-in-law John Hadfield in 2006.

John is survived by his wife of 51 years, Ruth, of Ladysmith, daughter Katherine, son-in-law Zach, grandson Erik, of Florida and sisters: Judy, JoAnne, Linda (Ralph) and Sandy, of Abbotsford as well as numerous cousins, nieces and nephews.

In his younger years he was a radioman with the Royal Canadian Navy, a member of the Kinsman Club in Ladysmith, an Alderman for the Village of Sayward, Director of the Comox-Strathcona Regional Board, a volunteer ambulance driver, and Special RCMP Constable. Later he became the First Commodore of the Ladysmith Yacht Club, was involved in the set-up of Coastal Missions and a member of the Ladysmith Hospital Board.

He spent the most and the happiest years of his employment with High Tree Services / Davey Tree where he had the freedom to make up his own jobs. He started out as their accountant, then hired one instead, and wrote / taught the tree climbing and trimming courses (although he never had himself done that kind of work). He became the Safety Officer, teacher of WHIMS, looked after the inventory for BC & AB, and would frequently work with WCB cases. When he had his stroke in 1991 they hired three people to replace him. After the stroke many will remember him travelling around south Ladysmith on his scooter (often with his well loved yellow lab Sal by his side).

The family would like to thank Dr. Julian Lisinski & his assistant Roxanne Gillard for many years of assistance along with the other staff of Hillside Medical Staff. Thanks go out to the staff of the Lodge on Fourth, especially those on the fourth floor where John was a resident since September 16, 2016, for the careful, gracious and laughter-filled care of him during the last months of his life.

Donations in John’s memory can be sent to:


(Cheque mailed) designated for Cindy Geiger:

Youth With A Mission

PO Box 57100 RPO, East Hastings

Vancouver BC V5K 5G6


Online at: ( for Cindy)

Reasons To Believe Canada

Box 75300, White Rock BC V4B 5L4

Online at: click on donate, choose Canada

Condolences may be offered at

Telford’s of Ladysmith


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