John Osborne Alvarez was born in San Francisco, California on September 6, 1928. He caught his first fish before he was five years old and spent the rest of his life “fishing for food,” as he liked to phrase it, though there was always a generous amount of sport attached to the pursuit. When the fish weren’t biting or the season was closed, John would be hunting, hiking, and for many years, photographing. He won awards for playing the harmonica as a boy, and played the accordion until his increasing deafness robbed him of this joy.
John’s welcoming smile and hand outstretched in friendship, his kindness and sheer delight in sharing his love of nature and fishing with others drew people from all walks of life to share his company. He loved to tease and even after developing short term memory issues, when asked a question such as, “Where do you live?” he’d respond, with a straight face and a twinkle in his eye, “Here.”
Raised in Cedar Mills on the outskirts of Portland, John attended Oregon State University to study forestry. He married Frances Ann Palley in 1949 and the couple had four children. He worked as a car salesman and later at Meier & Franks in Portland in both the sports department and the TV and Appliance Department. In 1974, he and Frances immigrated to Canada, to Clowhom Falls at the head of Salmon Inlet, where he worked at his dream-of-a-lifetime job as a caretaker/fishing guide for the private Clowhom Lodge. John and Frances divorced in 1979. In 1984 John married Rosella Leslie and they had one son. After 17 years at Clowhom, John and Rosella moved to Sechelt where John was active for more than 20 years with the Thursday morning volunteers at the Sunshine Coast Salmonid Enhancement Society hatchery at Wilson Creek. He was also a director of the East Porpoise Bay Ratepayers Association for a number of years. In between volunteering and fishing, he occasionally taught courses in fly casting and fly tying.
On May 15, 2021, John let go of the line he’d hooked to this world, but the ripples he made in our lives will go on forever.
John is predeceased by his parents, Inocentio (Eno) Alvarez and Isabel Fullner (nee Osborne), his sister, Annabel (Bednarz), and his first wife, Frances. He is survived by his wife, Rosella Leslie; his daughters, Nancy Johns, Lori Alvarez (Jorge Umanzor), and Lisa Thompson (David); his sons, Thomas (Deb Kulinsky), and Nathan; grandsons Joseph Stein, Michael Cox, Joshua Thompson, Alex Alvarez (Heather), and Carlo Umanzor, granddaughters, Sara Stein, Dala Cox (Jeffrey Lance), Kristi Lipp, Terra Alvarez and Audrey Alvarez; 10 great-grandchildren and 4 great-great grandchildren.
In lieu of flowers, please send a donation to a fish recovery or enhancement program.