Joining the chorus of appreciation for John, I’d like to share a few words. We met sometime around 2015 when I began playing with Crescentwood Saturday Soccer Club (CSSC).
In my eyes, John embodied the characteristics of a role model and mentor. I always looked up to him not because of his broadly shared values, but because of his character and presence.
He’d enter the locker room on one of our winter weekday evening kick-abouts and the whole squad would beam with smiles, pleased to see him. A warm presence with a calm smile, John had a cheeky and playful side that I loved.
“How’s things John,” I’d ask.
“Can’t complain Matthew. Well, I could, but nobody gives a shit, so I’m good,” he’d say with a boyish grin.
That energy about him: calm, playful, cheeky, boyish, sharp, happy, loving – those are characteristics I seek to emulate. There’s no question John left an impression on my life.
We liked to talk about politics and he was helpful on a number of occasions – for example, providing a historical link to the community organization Choices as some of us sought to build Communities Not Cuts network, which I’m pleased to see is having a second wind in Manitoba.
Some chose to remember John for his accomplishments, but I remember him for his character and presence.
I remember his loving nature to his daughter Raina and son Matt. It was such a pleasure to play football together with them and I’ll treasure the memory of enjoying his surprise birthday kick-about, which Raina and others so expertly organized. I always loved seeing John and the Loxley family.
John was also kind to my partner at the time, showing interest in her life and pursuits while they sat on the sidelines of a soccer match, cheering the squad on. I miss those days very much. I’ll miss John. I miss all of that dearly.
I also had the good fortune of joining the first (only?) CSSC Zoom hangout in the early days of COVID-19. John had a Yellow Dog pub coaster as his background – John loved a good pint and a laugh.
That’s, surely, what life is all about. After all, what’s it all for if not a good laugh and doing some good in the world?
Cheers to you John. Thank you for the warm smile, the kindness, the love and the laughter.
You also had some cheeky passes and plays on the gym floor that I won’t soon forget.
You’re a mentor in my eyes. What a privilege to have known you. I’ll miss you my friend. Thank you for the laughs, memories, mentorship and good fun. Cheers mate,
With love and solidarity, Matt