April 5, 2019
John Ronacher (Afi) passed away peacefully and surrounded by his family on April 5, 2019. John was born in Salzburg, Austria and moved to Windermere with his parents Catherine and Simon in 1927. John was a lifelong fixture in the valley, having owned and operated the sawmill in Athalmer, the Coronation Hotel and numerous bush camps. It was his work in the back country where John was happiest, and he logged thousands of kilometers over the years exploring the area.
John lived a long life in good health, and his greatest joy was time spent with his family. He married his sweetheart Laura Palmason on July 7, 1945, and they spent 70 beautiful years together before her passing in 2016. In his later years, John loved spending time adventuring with his great-grandchildren, building a strong and lasting relationship with all of them and passing on his love of exploration and the Columbia Valley. His legacy to his family is tremendously valued – John always had a positive attitude and a smile to share.
The family offers heartfelt thanks everyone at Columbia Gardens and Ivy House who cared for John with kindness, grace and a sense of humour. A special thank you goes out to Dr. Brown who showed tremendous compassion as he cared for John in his final days. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Windermere Valley Museum and Archives.