March 10,1928 to June 17, 2012
John was born on March 10,1928, in the village of Sleepy Hollow at Grand Forks, B.C., to Paul and Helen Zibin. He received his schooling at the Fructova School learning to read and write in both English and Russian. John was also involved in the USCC community activities and men’s choir.
As a boy John went to work in the fields on various farms in Grand Forks. His father died when John was seven years of age and at the age of 11 he went out to work accompanied by his grandmother to help to provide for the household. As a teenager he worked away in the Okanagan orchards.
John acquired a love of music and played various instruments – accordion, harmonica, guitar, violin and mandolin. He played with friends at dances and entertained at the packing houses in Grand Forks as well as the Okanagan.
When John returned to Sleepy Hollow he met and started courting Florence Seminoff. They fell in love and married on May 3, 1952. After their marriage John and Florence set up their own home in Sleepy Hollow and saw the birth of their son Steve in October 1953, daughter Betty in March 1956, and son Johnnie in September 1958. In 1959 the family moved to west Grand Forks to their newly built home where the youngest daughter Shelly was born in November 1963.
John studied to obtain his ticket in heavy duty mechanics then spent most of his adult life working in the logging industry. When John was working in the logging camps he ran a jammer which was the predecessor machine to log yarders. In 1958 John joined his uncle Fred Zibin and started their own logging company called Zibin Contracting. Here he stayed until the company sold. In 1975 he went to work for Pope and Talbot. John was offered the position of logging supervisor, however he chose to work as a cat operator until his retirement in 1993.
Throughout the years John and Florence enjoyed camping and travelling to various vacation destinations including Hawaii, Mexico, Jamaica and Cuba. In his retirement he enjoyed gardening and especially spending time with his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. John lived at home until his health declined and was hospitalized in May of this year. He passed away in his 84th year on June 17, 2012, under the loving watch of his family.
John was predeceased by his father and mother and daughter, Shelly. He is survived by Florence, his wife of 60 years; son, Steve Zibin and wife, Debbie; son, John Zibin and Connie; and daughter, Betty Gelter and husband, Jeff; his nine grandchildren: Vanessa, Christa, Justin, Vicki, Audra, Drew, Colleen, Amanda and Quentyn; great-grandchildren, Ethan and Anna. Also surviving John is one brother, Mitch Zibin of Grand Forks and one sister, Polly Sherbinin of Trail, and many nieces and nephews.
John was a hardworking and caring man who loved his family very much. He was a lifetime member of the USCC. John will be greatly missed by family and friends.
Thank you God for accepting his soul into Your heavenly kingdom.
A traditional Doukhobor funeral was held on Saturday, June 23, 2012, in the chapel at the Grand Forks Funeral Home. Jerry Semenoff officiated the service. Burial followed at the Sion Russian Doukhobor Cemetery. Grand Forks Funeral Home was entrusted with funeral arrangements.
The family is deeply appreciative of everyone who telephoned, sent flowers and cards, brought food, visited the home and attended the service and all who travelled from afar. We are also grateful to Everett Baker and staff at the Grand Forks Funeral Home; J.J.Verigin, Laura Verigin and Paul (Jerry) Semenoff for their guidance, comfort and exceptional care in officiating at the service; the singers, cooks and gravediggers. We also extend a heartfelt thanks to his family doctor, the nurses and staff of Boundary Hospital for their compassionate care of our dear husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather and the support they extended to the family. We are truly grateful to all for your love and support. Donations to the B.C. Cancer Society or Iskra, or a charity of your choice would be appreciated.