October 5, 1941 – April 5, 2022
In loving memory ~
John was born in Vanderhoof, BC to Johan Viktor Næsgaard, originally of Bergen, Norway, and Kathleen (Kay) Rose Nesgaard (née Gibson), originally of Somerset, England. He was one of the first babies born in the new at-the-time (and now old) St. John Hospital. The family moved to Kimberley, BC, where John grew up with two siblings.
In his youth, John was an avid downhill skier and ski instructor, later moving to Banff, BC before making his way North to the Yukon and Cassiar, BC in the 1970s, and finally settling in Atlin, BC. In the North, John worked at many camp jobs, in the gold mines, as a trapper, and as a hunting guide. He was part of “The Colorful 5%” and was known to many friends and colleagues as “Trapper John.” Like many Northerners who prefer the communities, he felt that one person ahead of him constituted a lineup, was disgruntled by the vastness of the stores in Whitehorse, and preferred being in nature.
He truly appreciated the outdoors and enjoyed ice fishing and skidooing on Como Lake, hiking with his dogs, hunting and trapping, boating and camping on Atlin Lake, and the self-reliance required to live in the North. A man of few words with a distinctively warm, yet gruff , and hearty chuckle, John was always there for his friends, wanted the best for his community, and loved living in Atlin. In his later years, he actively volunteered by cleaning the campgrounds with his friend Liz and tending to the graveyard. He received an Outstanding Service Award for many years of diligent, behind-the-scenes community service.
John passed away in his home at 80 years of age in Atlin, BC. He is survived by his dog Pitou; his sister Mavis of Kelowna, BC (previously of Invermere, BC); his children Rick (Tracy) of Sudbury,ON, Britt of Calgary, AB, John of Nanaimo, BC, Miscal (Graeme) of St. John’s, NL, and Tyler of Whitehorse, YT; his grandchildren Mitch (Caroline) of Calgary, AB, Brenna of Ladysmith, BC, and Adam of Calgary, AB, as well as nieces, great-nieces, great-nephews, and cousins in BC and Alberta. John was predeceased by his parents, his younger brother Rodney, countless wonderful “old-timer” friends, and many canine companions.
John was buried on April 9th in Atlin, BC. There will be a small celebration of life in July, with notice to follow in June.
Thank you to the community of Atlin, BC for its heartwarming support and great care of John in his final years, allowing him to stay in his home and live on his own terms.
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