John Ferrara (Teddy)

October 11, 1930

February 25, 2021

John ‘Teddy’ Ferrara, a beloved husband, father, and philanthropist, passed away on February 25, 2021, at the age of 90. He is survived by his loving wife of 64 years, Rose, his four adoring children, Darlene, Randy, Donna, and Cindy, his three grandchildren, Sabrina, Gina, and Jennifer, his five great-grandchildren, Amelia, Evelyn, Joseph, Abigail, and Jareth, as well as his devoted sister, Angie MacNeill. Preceding him in death were his parents, Michele and Carmella, and his siblings, Mary, Mike, Aldo, and Tony. John’s life was defined by his unwavering commitment to family, hard work, and helping others.

Born on October 11, 1930, in Coleman, Alberta, John Ferrara was the tenth child in a family of thirteen, only six of whom survived into adulthood. In order to finance his education, he worked in coal mines before braving a freezing Canadian winter by living in a garage during his first year of university. These early experiences foreshadowed the extraordinary determination that would come to define his life.

John graduated in 1953 from the University of Alberta with a Bachelor of Science in Mining Engineering, becoming the first in his family to attend university. He began his professional career in northern Alberta and later moved to Virden, Manitoba, where he joined B/A. It was there that he met his remarkable wife, Rose Letkeman. They married in 1956 and went on to raise a loving family of four children. John’s career in the oil industry took the family to Estevan and ultimately to Calgary, where they settled in 1970.

John’s professional journey included becoming the President of a prominent American oil company, as well as establishing his own successful drilling company with three rigs. In addition, he and Rose ran a separate thriving company together since the 1960s. However, it was his passion for helping others that truly set him apart. Following his financial success, upon the encouragement of his wife, John dedicated himself to philanthropy. Over the years, he generously donated to fund crucial medical equipment and research projects, actively monitoring their progress. Affectionately known as “Curious George” for his lifelong thirst for knowledge, John even purchased a hospital-quality microscope and analyzed the blood samples of guests who visited his home, eager to help them improve their health.

Despite his many accomplishments, John had a humble heart and shied away from recognition. He instilled excellent values in his children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren by gifting them copies of valuable medical books and highlighting the most interesting chapters or pages. He also fostered a strong sense of community, often engaging in friendly games of bocce with neighbors in his backyard during summer evenings.

In 2014, John faced a stroke that severely affected his speech and mobility. However, even in his most challenging moments, he remained attentive to the well-being of his caregivers, showing genuine concern for their families and personal struggles. Through intensive rehabilitation, John regained his speech and a significant degree of mobility within five months. For the next six years, he continued his commitment to physical strength and overall well-being, attending rehabilitation and the U of C gym four mornings a week, always supported by his loving wife Rose and their family.

John ‘Teddy’ Ferrara will be forever remembered as a man of integrity, wisdom, and above all, a man who cherished his family and made a positive impact on the world. His legacy is one of love, hard work, and selfless dedication to helping others.

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