Remembering a man of strength and dedication

The Region mourns loss of Councillor John 

By VERNA MURPHY, Connect Weekly

Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo Councillor John Chadi passed away at age 62, after a long battle with cancer. SUPPLIED PHOTO

Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo Councillor John Chadi passed away at age 62, after a long battle with cancer. SUPPLIED PHOTO

On November 15, 2015, Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo (RMWB) Councillor John Chadi passed away after a two-year battle with a rare bile duct cancer.

Chadi was born and raised in Lac La Biche, but he moved to Fort McMurray and became a car salesman in the early 80s. Many of his family and friends remember a man who was always giving to the community and involved in something.

He was one of the first board members on what was then MacDonald Island, and he later first became a councillor in 1998, until 2008. Chadi ran again and was elected in 2013. Just a day after he was sworn in was when he was diagnosed with cancer.

But the cancer did not stop him from attending council meetings when he could, or calling in when he was in the hospital. And he was always a councillor that knew about any of the issues on the table.

In an interview, RMWB Councillor Keith McGrath said, “John Chadi was the kind of guy that would give you the shirt off his back. And always a strong family man.”

Long-time friend and local resident, Vaughn Jessome remembered Chadi with fondness, and also mentioned how important family was to John.

When asked what his best memory was of Chadi, Jessome told a story of buying a truck from Chadi years ago, and his brother-in-law had to drive it to Edmonton because Jessome needed surgery. He said that upon arriving in Edmonton the truck would not start.

“I was in surgery, and while I was in there, John called some people he knew in Edmonton and they looked after fixing the truck and getting it back to us. That was just the kind of guy John was, he looked after you and he got things done,” added Jessome.

“I was in surgery, and while I was in there, John called some people he knew in Edmonton and they looked after fixing the truck and getting it back to us. That was just the kind of guy John was, he looked after you and he got things done,” added Jessome.

Chadi moved to Fort Chipewyan in 1997 and fell in love with the community. Many who did not know him well thought that he was born and raised there since he spoke of the issues and the people there with such passion. Chadi had trucking companies, as well as a grocery store. Last year in October, the store burnt to the ground.

John Chadi leaves behind his best friend Claris Voyageur, his children John Chadi, Grant Longaphie, Brandon, Mariam, Nadena & Jennifer, grandchildren Monica, John Michael, Tanner, Rahim, Ibaad, Austin, Kierra & Kye as well as one great grandchild. Brothers Sine (Seham) Chadi, Sid (Louise) Chadi, Jamel (Wisam) Chadi, his sisters Genoa (Saul) Katz & Mariam Chadi as well as many extended family and friends.

Mayor Melissa Blake put out a written statement shortly after Chadi’s death, and the flags at the municipality were lowered to half mast.

“Our thoughts and prayers are firmly with Cr. Chadi’s family as they mourn his passing following an incredible life lived in the service of his community,” said Mayor Melissa Blake. “John will be deeply missed by all of us and we can only hope his family finds peace at this sad and difficult time.”

John Chadi’s memorial took place in Lac La Biche on November 17, and the council meeting for that night was rescheduled in his honour. Chadi was 62.

– Connect Weekly –