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Sylvan Lakers remember former Memorial Church minister John Yoos

The announcement of Rev. Yoos’s passing was made on July 13
Rev. John Yoos. (submitted photo)

Rev. John Yoos is being remembered by those in Sylvan Lake for his compassion and dedication to helping others.

The former Memorial Church minister passed away on July 12.

Yoos first came to the community after he was ordained in May of 1956 where he was appointed as an Ordained Missionary to aid the receiving Charge of the Memorial-Everts Churches. Yoos remained in the position for over thirty-seven years. When he retired he was presented by Member of Parliament at the time Doug Fee with the Canada Confederation Medal in appreciation for his work.

Yoos met his wife Harla Stewart in 1957 when she was a student Deaconess working on the W.M.S. Mission Van and they were married in 1959.

“He referred to this as the greatest God-given blessing in his life,” friend Ed Stevenson said.

For the people who knew Yoos, he was a friendly and compassionate person.

“John was a compassionate man that if you ever needed help he came and he was just a good person. He was a person that you didn’t have to be a Presbyterian if you needed help, John was always there,” Mavis Kingsep said.

“About three months ago before he got terribly sick he and I were shaking hands in the morning service he said Mavis do you realize you and I are two of the oldest people in this congregation and I said thanks a lot for telling me that but that’s the kind of guy he was,” Kingsep added.

During his time in the community Yoos was involved in many different projects including:

  • the building of a new Christian education hall with classrooms for Sunday school and a new church sanctuary
  • working as a volunteer chaplain in the Red Deer Hospital and Red Deer Nursing Home
  • teaching christian education at the Eckville Public School
  • being the Legion Padre for the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 212 for over 43 years
  • being the chaplain for the retired R.C.M.P. Veteran’s Association Red Deer Division
  • doing general hospital visitations once a week for the Presbytery
  • coaching Pee Wee and Bantam hockey during his first fifteen years of living in Sylvan and coaching the high school basketball team
  • being the secretary of the Community Club until it disbanded
  • being the first chairman of the Board of Managers of the New Seniors Lodge
  • being on the Archives Board
  • receiving the first ‘Citizen of the Year’ award in Sylvan Lake
  • receiving citations for his work with Scouts Canada and the Girl Guides
  • being a member of the Red Deer housing authority board for five years
  • serving on Sylvan’s lobby committee for a Nursing Home in the community
  • being part of the Sylvan Lake Lion’s Club on two separate occasions in which during his second membership he received the ‘Melvin Jones Fellowship Award’ an international award presented for community service
  • his work in the congregation which centered around home visitations, weddings, funerals, hospital visitations, counselling and working with A. A. members as they journeyed through their various steps



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Sarah Baker

About the Author: Sarah Baker

I joined Black Press in March 2023 and am looking forward to sharing stories about the local communities.
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