John Koftinoff was born on January 6, 1922, in the Doukhobor community of Ootischenia in the Kootenay area to the family of Ivan and Tanya Koftinoff. Tanya’s maiden name was Lactin. He was the youngest in the family, joining brothers Fred and Pete, and one sister, Mabel. John had a limited English education in the school which was located in their community. The Russian language he learned from within the family and the community, where at that time people of the Doukhobor faith only spoke Russian. He also attended some schooling in the Russian language provided by their community. In the late 1930s, his family moved to Grand Forks, and settled in the west end of town.
In 1941, John was united in marriage to Molly Mahonin. From the beginning they lived with John’s parents and soon after they bought themselves some land near the area of Carson Road, and moved into a modest house there. The area was known as Chistyakovoye of which they were members. They were blessed with two children, son John, and daughter Pearl. John and Molly always had a bountiful garden, growing different vegetables that their family received their nourishment from, summer and winter. In the early years of their life together, John started working in the forest industry, skidding, driving CAT and soon became an independent log hauler with his own truck. He stayed with this job until his retirement. In the early 1980’s they built themselves a new house west of town near the black train bridge. John was a lifetime member of the Union of Spiritual Communities of Christ and through his lifetime contributed to the organization wherever he was able to. In his leisure time John enjoyed the outdoors, was an avid fisherman and also took pride in ornate woodworking as a hobby. His woodworking art was visibly displayed around his home. In January 2005, John suffered the loss of his loving wife Molly, and through the rest of his life he lived with his children, John and Pearl, who cared for him. In his later years he had some health problems, but like they say: “He was on his feet”. The years took their course and some four years ago John’s health started to decline and over time deteriorated considerably. Two years ago he was admitted to a section of the Boundary Hospital – Hardy View Lodge, where on Thursday morning, June 19, 2014, with his family by his side, John peacefully passed away. He was 92 years of age. John was predeceased by his parents Ivan and Tanya Koftinoff, his brothers Fred and Peter Koftinoff, and his sister Mabel Popoff. He is survived by his children: son John and daughter Pearl Cox, both of Grand Forks; three grandchildren, Gary Koftinoff with wife Anya of Toronto, Ontario, Darrell with wife Patty Cox, and Darcy Cox with partner Jennifer, all of Grand Forks; six great-grandchildren: Anton, Alexander, Jessica with partner Steve, Becca, Logan and Sydnie; and one great-great-grandson Austin; numerous nieces, nephews, relatives and friends. John was a loving and devoted family man who enjoyed his time with both family and friends. He will be sadly missed and fondly remembered by his children, grandchildren, relatives and friends. The surviving family wishes to extend their gratitude to the local ‘Home Care’ and Hardy View Lodge for their superb care in making John’s remaining years as comfortable as they could. Thank you to Jerry Seminoff for officiating the service; Everett Baker and staff at Grand Forks Funeral Home for the professional services; thank you for the phone calls, flowers, and food brought to the house; JJ Verigin for his kind words; everyone who spoke at the service, the singers, the pallbearers, the ladies who prepared the wonderful lunch, and the men who prepared the gravesite. May God accept his soul into His Heavenly Kingdom, and may he rest in peace.