John Holmes

Obituary of John Holmes

John Holmes - the cherished life partner of Kristen Atamanchuk, passed away peacefully on Wednesday, July 19th, 2023, at South Shore Regional Hospital in Bridgewater, Nova Scotia.  Lying next to him til his last breath, with him til the last, was Kristen.  Also with him til the end were his best pals Scott Simpson and Ray Wark.  John had suffered a severe stroke several days before his passing from this world to the next.  He was 73 years old.


John was born on March 3, 1950 in East Ham, England, son of Violet and Thomas Harold Atkinson Holmes.  John was preceded in death by his brother, Brian Holmes in 1956 and his father on April 19, 2005.


As a young man, John both played and coached professional football; his love for the game only grew as time went on.  John was a fervent fan of the Newcastle United Football Club, and never missed a match!


Emigrating to Canada in 1981, John left Newcastle England to embark on a new adventure.  Initially settling in Mississauga and later Oakville, Ontario.  John played football in Port Credit as well as Oakville and further coached men’s and women’s teams in Brampton and Oakville.


John worked at TRUMPF Canada as a Sales Manager.  His career in Technical Fabrication sales flourished, and he was later transferred by the company to Winnipeg in 2008.  John's personality and professionalism allowed him to develop life long friendships and a reputation as a leader in his industry.  John retired from TRUMPF Canada in 2020. 


John was a dedicated life partner, first and foremost.  He treasured and adored the love of his life, Kristen.  John met Kristen in 2014, and his final love story began and ended with her.  With John's retirement nearing, the two decided the time was right for a change, and they relocated to Deep Cove, Nova Scotia.  Theirs was a whirlwind life full of romance, travel, adventure, and family. John was dedicated to his mom and grateful for his extended family and friends in North Tyneside, Tyne and Wear.

John loved any and all sports, but nothing could surpass his fervour for his beloved Newcastle Football Club.  John had a large network of friends, and he was often out on "guy trips" around North America and Europe.  When Kristen and he were not travelling the world, or exploring Atlantic Canada John could be found feeding the squirrels and chipmunks, and the resident flocks of blue jays and doves visiting their yard.  John also enjoyed gardening, but given a choice between the two, he would easily pick watching sports at any given pub.


Although a less than average life span, John did not live an average life.  He travelled when he wanted to travel, laughed inappropriately at every chance, learned what he wanted to learn, and fixed what he wanted to fix.


John excelled at packing luggage, keeping a clean house (a point of pride for his mother), and his bed-making skills were known and admired by many.  He was a man who would never back down from a fight, not that he ever won one.  Many, he claimed, regarded him as the "bouncer", or "boonzer" as he would call it in his Geordie accent.


An accomplished traveller and a natty dresser, John had a lifelong affair with bacon sandwiches, gravy, fish & chips and marrowfat peas, and no day was every complete without chocolate.


John is survived by his partner Kristen, his mother Violet, and many extended family members.  John's in-laws Bernie and Joan Atamanchuk, Michele Atamanchuk, and Todd Atamanchuk will remember him dearly, as will his many friends, colleagues and acquaintances. 


Cremation has taken place.  A celebration of Life will be held in Ontario, Winnipeg and North Tyneside, Tyne and Wear, England (dates to be determined).


As an expression of sympathy, memorial donations may be made to any Humane society or animal shelter.  Instead of flowers, John would hope that you will do an unexpected and unsolicited act of kindness for someone, in his name.


Life is not forever.  Love is.

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