John Panasiuk died peacefully at his home in Melfort, Saskatchewan, on October 19, 2021, at the age of 79, with loved ones by his side and the cat on his bed, as he wanted. John is survived by his loving wife, Lynne, his brother, Garry, his children, Trevor, Ryan and Blair and grandchildren Nicholas, Jesse, Adam, Corben, Quinn, Malcolm, and Matthew. John was born in Tisdale, Saskatchewan, on June 5, 1942, to devoted parents Bill and Mary Panasiuk. Along with his brother Garry, John spent his youth in northern Saskatchewan, heading to Saskatoon in 1963 to attend Teacher's College. He spent the following summer as a Counsellor at Camp Easter Seal where he met Lynne (she hired him). Before that summer was over, they were engaged. John taught a year in Tisdale before returning to Saskatoon to attend the University of Saskatchewan and marry his sweetheart. John graduated with a Bachelor in Education and spent his lengthy career teaching in Saskatoon. Over his 30 years within the public school system "Mr. Panasiuk" touched the lives of hundreds and hundreds of students. Later in his career, John specialized in teaching at-risk students where he was able to make significant contributions to new and developing programs for youth needing additional support. During these years of teaching John and Lynne started a family counselling firm, Family Advocates, to provide additional services to families and youth experiencing crisis. It was during these years that John went 'back to school' to complete his Doctorate of Philosophy in Counselling Psychology. This led John (now "Dr. John") to his second career as a counsellor/therapist in private practice. John and Lynne supported multiple First Nations through contracts with Health Canada. John was very involved in the development of programs at Shoal Lake, Cumberland House, Kiniston and James Smith. John appreciated the opportunity to become part of the reserves where he worked and truly was welcomed into the communities. His chosen brother, James Burns, introduced him to ceremony and protocol which became a significant part of John's life. John loved to travel. After 12 summers spent at the cabin at Turtle Lake where many friendships and memories were made, it was time to explore south of the border. For many years John and Lynne loved travelling to Mexico every winter where they truly felt at home. Then one year, on a whim, they booked their first cruise and were hooked. They completed over 15 cruises, including trips to Mexico, the Panama Canal, the Caribbean, Mediterranean, an Atlantic crossing, the Pacific Coast and Alaska. John's favorite cruise was Alaska which they took 3 times. John relished his retirement in Melfort, where he became a life-time member of the Melfort Golf and Country Club, season ticket holder and super-fan for the Melfort Mustangs hockey club, and along with Al Evenson, John Shirley and others, spent way too much time drinking coffee at Timmies. It was John's wish, in lieu of a funeral service, that those who loved him take an opportunity to remember him in their own way at their own time. Memorial contributions in memory of William may be directed to a Charity of Choice. To plant Memorial Trees in memory of W. John Panasiuk, please click here to visit our Sympathy Store.
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