April 24 1917 – May 18 2011
We are saddened to announce that Dr. John Etherington, long-time family physician in Sooke, died peacefully at age 94 in Kelowna BC. John is survived by his devoted wife of almost 61 years, Elizabeth, his two sons Jeremy (Sheri) and David (Janine), and his daughter Jane. He also leaves three grandsons Jeff, Ian and Philip, and Jane’s daughter Sus to mourn him. John was predeceased by his oldest grandson Chris in 2005.
John was an accomplished poet and avid reader. He loved to work with wood, to garden and to sail. Unknown to many, he was an exceptional golfer during his youth in Northern England and Scotland.
Throughout WW II, John served in the RAF as a pathfinder, flight lieutenant and squadron leader. He was eventually shot down over Belgium behind enemy lines. After struggling to stabilize the plane so his crew could bail out safely, John was seriously injured when he jumped as his plane spun out of control. For this selfless act he received the RAF’s highest award for exceptional valour, the Distinguished Flying Cross.
John became a family physician in 1951 and practiced in North Shields Northumberland and Tynemouth England, before immigrating to Canada in 1955. Once here, he practiced medicine in Winnipeg and Lethbridge, but worked the better part of his career in Sooke BC, where he retired at the age of 71. He lived in Sooke until October 2010 when he and Elizabeth moved to Kelowna BC to be nearer to Jeremy and Sheri.
A Celebration of John’s Life will be held at 1 p.m. on Saturday June 4th 2011, at the Holy Trinity Anglican Church, 1962 Murray Road, with a reception to follow in the church hall. John and Elizabeth loved sailing the coastal waters of BC. His ashes will be scattered in the Strait of Juan de Fuca near his beloved Sooke.
In lieu of flowers, please make donations in John’s name to Central Okanagan Hospice House, 2035 Ethel Street, Kelowna BC V1Y 2Z6, where the phenomenal staff were a great comfort and support to Elizabeth and John in his final months.
“Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.”