Hlavka, John Bernhart

It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of John Hlavka of Calgary at the Foothills Hospital at the age of 77 years. John will be lovingly remembered by his wife Merlene and his children Carey (Rem) of Sooke, BC, Angela (Tamara) of Calgary, and Janet (Michael) of Calgary along with his step-children Donnene (Rob) of Sidney, BC, Cheryl (Andy) overseas with the UN, Janet (Kevin) of Edmonton, Patrice (Gord) of Calgary, Geoff (Shelly) of Hudson, Quebec, and Stuart (Margo) of Calgary along with grandchildren: Stacey, Sabrina, Kimberly, Blair, Rachel, Jarod, Abigail, Andrew, Marcus, Derek, Kristin, Ashley, Kelsey, Cory, Spencer, Brittany, Drew, Hayley and Paul, and great-grandchild; Kaitlyn. John is also survived by his sister Eleanora of Weyburn, SK and his brother Paul (Jean) of Minton, SK and their families. John was predeceased by his parents Albert and Rosalin, sister Julianna, and great-grandson Carsen. John was born in Roan Mine, Saskatchewan and attended a one room country school. He worked on his parent’s farm until an oilfield surveyor came into their farm yard looking for workers. He signed on as a roughneck and continued to work in the oilfield for 55 years; as a floor hand on the drilling rig, as CEO of a drilling company, and almost every job in between. John started his career with Paul Gauthrie Development in Saskatchewan then moved to Alberta where he rose through the ranks with Bawden Drilling and then Adeco Drilling, both in Edmonton. In 1977, he became General Manager of Thompson Drilling in Denver, Colorado. John, Merlene and family moved back to Alberta in 1979 when John became Vice President of Operations for Atco Drilling in Calgary, then became President in 1985. In 1993, Atco Drilling became Akita Drilling with John as President and CEO. John retired June 30,2009 as CEO of Akita Drilling. One of his proudest work accomplishments was the environment they created at Akita where employees became family – they came for a job but found an opportunity for a lifetime. John was inducted in the Saskatchewan Petroleum Industry Hall of Fame on June 3, 2009. John was much loved by his family and friends for his kindness, wisdom and generosity. He enjoyed nothing more than holding spirited conversations and especially took great joy in delivering the ‘life lecture’ to all his children and grandchildren. He challenged us to stand up for our beliefs and we all benefited from his guidance. He will be forever missed. The family wish to thank the staff in the ICU at Rockyview Hospital and especially ICU Unit 94 at the Foothills Hospital for their excellent care during John’s illness. Visitation will be held at Spruce Meadows, Congress Hall, 18011 Spruce Meadows Way S.W. Calgary on Thursday, September 24, 2009 from 6:00 – 8:00 p.m. Funeral Service on Friday, at Spruce Meadows, Congress Hall, September 25, 2009 at 11:00 a.m. Interment at Mountain View Memorial Gardens, Garden of The Apostles. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Tom Baker Cancer Centre (1331 – 29 Street NW Calgary, AB. T2N 4N2). To e-mail expressions of sympathy: Mountainview@arbormemorial.com Subject heading: John Hlavka. Arrangements entrusted to Mountain View Funeral Home and Cemetery 1605 100 Street SE (17 Avenue SE at Garden Road), Calgary, AB. Telephone 403 272 5555