John was born April 2, 1949 to Herbert William and Idella Rushlow in Moncton, New Brunswick, where he spent all of his childhood and part of adult life before moving to Manitoba.

At 6 years John became “Bat Boy” for Memoramcook Rovers Baseball Team (2 summers). That year, in 1955 his brother David was born.

At 9 years John would go to the station and watch and passenger trains come in “Ocean Limited” and local trains. John loved his airport trips and watched from the observation deck the planes coming and going.

Mom, Idella ran a dance school from her home and John learned tap, Ballet and Ballroom dance. They put on shows which included costumes. He marched in parades, waring costume clothing to fit the occasion, like kilts.

Soon he started playing the drums with his mom on piano. John also played other sports, baseball, football and some hockey, but his attention and his love of drums was his future.

John, The Musician

The name “Gemtones” came from a guitar that George played. Paul agreed! They became regulars at the YMCA, Moncton and it cost .50 at the door.

They also played at the “Wagon Wheel!”

Bands they opened for or back up were “Fireballs” “Kenny Chandler” “Bo Diddly” and “Jimmy Dooly” (Platters”

I’m sure the band members could add to this. He loved you guys and talked about those days all the time still constantly air drumming!

John “The Hobbiest”

John built to preserve history! He built everything: planes, trains, cars, bikes and lately décor for his two precious grandchildren. He continued with music and settled down into family life.

In 1974 John started Air Traffic Control. 100% on exams! He was sent to Ottawa for training and experience. Upon returning to Moncton, he worked “Ground Control” Air Control, Arrival and Departure Control.

John moved on to CN Gordon Yard, Streetcar Shop and then sandblasting cars. After finishing his apprenticeship, John worked in the “car shop,” trained on Dangerous Commodity Tank car inspection. Then came the transfers and John chose Winnipeg. After the shops closed, John went to work at Lufthansa.

John was a softball umpire in Manitoba, regular and Provincial games. He umpired Western Canadian Championships and 1Masters. John was awarded the Plate Umpire/Crew Chief for the Gold Metal Game “Canada & USA.”

John attended Edith Cavell Nd Moncton High School.

He was a member of 1970 Moncton Raiders Maritime Champions.

At the time of his passing, John was employed at Statistics Canada, Winnipeg, MB.

John is survived by his common-law wife, Karan; his daughter, Karlie (Adam) and their children Lucy and Vinny; daughter, Amanda Leigh and Cindy Balser; his brother David Balser (Millie) Alison Balser  and Jeremy Hennessy; nephew, Darren (Jessica); niece Angela Bernard, Blain Murray; great nephews and nieces, Brandon, Abby, Veda, Jase and Arlo. Sisters-in-law, Arlene (Jim), Teresa Hitch, Christine Hitch, Cynthia Hitch; step-dad to Tania LaChance and Cheryl Walker. Step-Grandpa to Jessica Walker, Sydney Lachance, Sadie Lachance, Nickolas Walker, Brooke Walker. Step-Great-Grandpa to Owen Young, Bently Walker, Sutton Walker and Kyrie.

Friends, John had many, too many to list but you know who you are!

A Memorial Tree was planted for JOHN
We are deeply sorry for your loss ~ the staff at 1442 Main Street
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