John Arthur Pauls

April 24th, 1932 ~ May 15th, 2024

John Arthur Pauls

April 24, 1932 - May 15, 2024


John Arthur Pauls, aged 92, passed away on May 15, 2024, at the Abbotsford Hospital in Abbotsford, BC.


Born in Lethbridge, Alberta, he was the second oldest of six children of David and Helen (Toews) Pauls and he grew up on a farm in Coaldale during the Great Depression. His parents had both a strong work ethic and an unwavering faith in God.


After graduation from high school, John went to MBBC in Winnipeg and completed a Sacred Music Diploma in 1956. This is when he met and married Leonora. After completing Normal School, he taught in Morden, Manitoba for three years and then in Coaldale at the AMHS for three years. They welcomed their first born, John David, into their home in 1961. John went on to Hillsboro, Kansas, to complete his Bachelor of Education degree, and then to Wichita, Kansas where he received his Master of Music Education degree.


In 1965, John accepted a position with the Edmonton School Board, teaching at Victoria Composite High School and Harry Ainley High School and later moving on to the Government of Alberta where he was a Fine Arts Consultant with the Department of Culture. It was during this time that they welcomed Sherril Anne into their home in 1967. In 1973 John joined the Department of Education in Calgary, Alberta, as an Education Consultant for 20 years from which he retired in 1993.


In 2008, he and Leonora moved to Richmond, BC, to be closer to family.  He enjoyed singing in the St. John's Vancouver Church choir for 10 years and participating in the Fraserview Seniors Club.


He loved his Lord and Savior and throughout his life he participated in music in the church and community, either singing or conducting.


He will be sadly missed and always lovingly remembered by his family. He is survived by his son John David Pauls (Wanda) of San Diego, CA, his daughter Sherril Gardiner (Hal) of San Antonio, TX, his grandchildren Evan Pauls (Danielle) of Madison, AL, Kelly Goldsmith (Paul) of Warsaw, MO, Alexandra Gardiner of Long beach, CA, Aaron Gardiner of Dallas, TX, Olivia Gardiner of Plano, TX and his great-granddaughter Elsie Goldsmith of Warsaw, MO.


A Memorial Service and Celebration of John's life will be held at Peace Mennonite Church in Richmond, BC, on Monday, June 17, 2024 at 1 p.m. A time of fellowship will follow in the church gymnasium. To watch a livestream of the service, please visit the following website at that time:


Donations in honor of John's life may be made to the Union Gospel Mission. (


John was a very important influence in my teen years, when we were living in Edmonton and I was attending Harry Ainley High School where John was the music teacher. In our grade 12 class he formed a small madrigal choir which was very influential in forming my musical sensibilities and appreciation. He set a very high standard with a determined intolerance for mediocrity. He also directed our choir at Lendrum Mennonite church with similar high musical standards. Lenora was similarly imbued with a keen musical sensibility which was a very positive influence in my life. I look back on those years with great fondness

John was my first cousin. We knew each other as young children but we learned to know each other better in adulthood. John and Lee both were very instrumental in getting the cousin’s tape on CD. We recorded it at Camp Crossroads in Ontario where John led the cousin’s choir, and Lee played piano masterfully. The last year‘s, John faithfully called us, which was such an encouragement to us.

As a young kid I spent several summers on the coldale farm getting to know all my Pauls first cousins. When my dad died (JB Toews) John and Lee organized a choir within several days and sang (he directed she played the piano) several pieces of the German requiem at his memorial service. A memorable event. God bless you all.

Leave a message of condolence:

Captcha Code