John Henry Wicken of Blenheim passed away at the Blenheim Community Village on Thursday June 27, 2013 at the age of 89 years. John was born in the town of Barking which is located in Essex, England. One of two sons born to Ethel Mary (White) and James Henry Wicken, John was predeceased by his brother James Gordon Wicken.
In 1942, John enlisted in the RAF and, after his initial training in England, was sent to Canada for Navigator training. On completion of that training, John served with the No. 418 “City of Edmonton” Squadron of the RCAF as Navigator of a Mosquito bomber until he was disabled by a shrapnel injury in 1945. He was awarded a Distinguished Flying Cross for his service in 1945. Veterans’ benefits made it possible for John to obtain training in England to be a teacher. In 1965, John’s career would bring him to the Blenheim District High School where he was Head of the History department until his retirement in 1980.
While training at the Mount Hope base near Hamilton, John met the true love of his life Florence May (Clause) Wicken who travelled to England for their marriage in 1946. She predeceased him in 1973. Together, John and Florence raised four children; Margaret Wicken (Jean-Claude Arcand) of Fredericton, NB, Pat Wicken of Blenheim, Nancy Wicken-Cohen of Windsor and Bill Wicken (Jane Greenlaw) of Halifax, NS. Their family grew to include grandchildren Antoine Arcand ( Michelle Benthall), David Raul Wicken (Andrea), Jonathan Cohen, Adam Cohen (Seanna), Keelin Greenlaw, Marcus Greenlaw and great grandchildren Raphael and Scarlett Arcand. John is also survived by his nephews Stephen Wicken and David Wicken, both of England.
In keeping with John’s belief of teaching future generations, he unselfishly opted to donate his body to the University of Western Ontario where he will help tomorrow’s doctors, dentists and health researchers make this world a better world. A Celebration of his life will be held at a future date and will be announced at that time.
Friends wishing to remember John with a memorial donation are asked to consider a charity of their choice. Online condolences for the family and memorial donations may be left at www.blenheimcommunityfuneralhome.com