CK loses one its strongest supporters

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The death of long-time community activist John Sigurjonsson is being felt throughout the community.

The 79-year-old, known for his passion for community involvement and an advocate for a healthier lifestyle, died Oct 23.

Chatham-Kent Councillor Brock McGregor called Sigurjonsson “passionately optimistic about the future of our community.”

“His commitment to active advocacy for a more progressive, inclusive vision of Chatham-Kent was matched only by his dedication to the hands on work to better his adopted hometown. The last time I saw John he was walking down King Street on one of those beautiful Chatham-Kent fall days, returning home from volunteering.  He was of course smiling – a reminder that as he ventured to change the world, he found much to enjoy along the way.”

Sigurjonsson founded the Facebook group Citizen Coalition last year for the purposes of discussing community issues.

Some members of the 1,200 strong group remembered him on the site.

Joanne Martin John you are missed. You will always be a most respected member of our community.

Katie Omstead So saddened by this news. John was a fine example of community advocacy and persistence. He is missed by many.

Jim Arnold Truly a loss to the community. Condolences to the family.

Jo Anne Woodworth Thank you for this post. Much admiration for John.

Michael Cowtan Farewell John. You were a fine gentleman.

Dawn Heuston May he rest easy … thoughts are with his family and friends.

John Willatt So sad to hear of John’s passing. He had a vision for Chatham-Kent that should have received more support.

Ken Bell I’ll be thinking of John on my rides.

Maureen Geddes Feeling grateful for the time working together in customer relations at Union Gas, on “making customer focus a value of Union Gas”. And before that, in my first week or two working for him in Western Region and he asked: do you want to volunteer for Junior Achievement or Heart & Stroke? It was not a question of “if”, it was “which one?” I appreciated John’s community garden efforts, and his support and information about municipal governance, as well as his founding of this group and his ready smile and caring heart. So much to be grateful for. Thank you John.

Kathy Cottingham His voice on behalf of CK citizens will be greatly missed. Condolences to family and friends.

A Manitoba native, Sigurjonsson worked for Union Gas until he started a cycling adventure business.

Dave Tessier, whom Sigurjonsson hired directly out of college to work in the cycling business, said he was “a corporate guy who still had all the dreams of adventure in him.

“The thing I’ll remember most about John was his laugh and the fact that he was absolutely a genuine person,” he said. “There wasn’t a hint of dishonesty or falseness about him. I think that drew people to him.”

The Voice wrote a profile about Sigurjonsson which appeared last November. It can be found here.

https://chathamvoice.com/2014/11/12/the-man-behind-the-coalition/

Donations in memory of Sigurjonsson can be made to the Chatham-Kent Hospice. To offer condolences online, visit www.mckinlayfuneralhome.com.

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