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John Ayres

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In Memory of John Ayres

John Ayres, known endearingly to friends and family as “Babychen”, passed away on August 24th at the age of 74.

Originally from the town of Vaikom in Kerala, India, John was the third child in a family of five, but the first to venture abroad. Having excelled academically, he received a Government of India scholarship to pursue graduate studies in Moscow, where he developed an insatiable curiosity about other cultures.

After completing his master’s degree in engineering in 1972, John returned to India and married Mercy Kallumkal from Vazhakulam, Kerala. Opportunities in both the public and private sectors brought the newlyweds to Delhi and then Haridwar. But never one to fall into complacency, John’s adventurous spirit eventually drove them to pack up and move to Canada in 1977, when he was accepted into a PhD program at the University of Western Ontario.

Despite many endeavours and accomplishments in Canada, from his research in solar engineering to a rewarding career as an engineer across sectors and industries, fatherhood was what mattered most to John. He was a quintessential family man who took on everyday household duties with as much gusto as family road trips, when his insistence on driving through the night would sometimes get him into trouble. Although John was sometimes pragmatic to a fault, he was a truly selfless man who instilled in his children a strong commitment to public service. With an open-minded outlook, he also embraced life in multicultural Canada and travelled extensively across the globe.

John is survived by his wife, Mercy, sons Meby (Winnie) and Roby (Preeti), granddaughter Grace, and his brothers and sisters, Lilly, George, Kuncheria and Mary.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations can be made to a Kerala flood relief fund of your choice.

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