John James Okell Obituary

John James Okell, 1925-2014

OKELL, JOHN JAMES of Truro, passed away peacefully at the age of 89 years in the Colchester East Hants Health Center.  He was the son of the late Lewis and Mary Elizabeth Okell of Great Barrow, near Chester, Cheshire, England.  John was predeceased by his wife, Jennifer and two sisters, Barbara and Joan.  He is survived by his three sons, Ian, Tim and Gary of England and his stepchildren, Paul Rogers, Catherine Vallis and Jane Ross, as well as 12 grandchildren.

In his youth, John enjoyed Young Farmers and riding with the Cheshire Hunt.  He was also a member of the Auxiliary Fire Service during the Second World War and was farming during the day and firefighting at night.

John was born a farmer and lived his entire working life doing what he loved, starting as a dairy farmer in Cheshire where John was known for having worked up a Prize Winning Guernsey herd and was a renowned Guernsey Cattle Judge in England and the Channel Islands.

Upon emigration to Nova Scotia in 1981, John and Jennifer began farming a Purebred Flock of North Country Cheviots and a Simmental and Commercial Beef Herd at the farm in Pleasant Valley.  When they retired to Princeport in 1990, John just kept his much loved sheep and goats.

John immersed himself into his new life here by being an active member in the Purebred Sheep Breeders Association of Nova Scotia, the Canadian Sheep Breeders Association, of which he was President for two terms and brought the Canadian Sheep Classic to Truro for the original dispersal of the Arcott Breeds of Sheep, when they were originally released and recognized as 3 separate breeds from the Agricultural Research Center in Ottawa.  John was also a well known dealer of sheep and cattle and enjoyed his time at Maritime Cattle Market.  He was also a member of the Canadian Legion, the Rotary Club and the Scottish Society.

We would like to thank all those involved in John’s care, Doctor F. Slipp, the doctors and nurses of the Colchester East Hants Health Center, the Earth Angels and the V.O.N.

Arrangements are under the direction of Mattatall~Varner Funeral Home, 55 Young Street, Truro, from where a Celebration of John’s life will take place on Tuesday, Nov. 25th from 6-9 pm. Family flowers only by request.  In lieu of flowers, donations in memory may be made to the Colchester East Hants Health Centre, Hospital Foundation Truro or to the Canadian Cancer Society would be appreciated. Private messages of condolence may be sent to the family by viewing John’s obituary on-line and selecting “Send A Condolence” at: