John Randal Wozny

November 28, 2019 6 Condolences Print Obituary

John Randal Wozny went to his rest after 88 years of confounding, annoying, delighting and inspiring his family, friends, neighbors, coworkers, colleagues, and students.

His parents were emigres from Poland and Ukraine. John Wozny played flute and piccolo in the air force band in the 1950s. His undergraduate degrees were in Psychology, Philosophy, and Biology.  In collaboration with Fred Wolfe, he researched and reported on the effects of DDT and the additives that caused population crashes in birds across North America.  He moved to Edmonton to study Systems Theory with Professor Ludwig von Bertalanffy at the University of Alberta. Later, he was selected for the University’s ground-breaking Think Tank project, along with Joseph Royce and many other distinguished members of the University community. He counted Guy Lefrançois among his best friends.

For over a decade, John Wozny was the psychologist responsible for student assessments in a school district of La Pas, Manitoba that included many First Nations students. He was honored for his efforts on their behalf. During this time, he helped a generation of young people receive proper assessments and life-changing scholarships.

On 29 June of 2016, John Wozny was honored by Guy Lefrançois and the University of Alberta for his lifetime of contributions to the academic community. 

An avid outdoorsman, John loved camping, fishing, hunting, and simply being out in nature.  He also attended museum events, concerts and operas.  An amateur botanist with a green thumb, he was notorious for his habits of accumulating and propagating plants, including hemlock, in case he ever decided to emulate Socrates. (He didn’t.). He also made a point of feeding the local bird populations through the long Canadian winters. 

John Wozny is survived by his daughter, Christina; a granddaughter, Adela Paige Moore; and a grandson.  He was deeply loved, and shall be deeply missed. 

  1. I have only just heard of John’s passing. I hired John to be Kelsey School Division’s psychologist. We became good friends/fishing partners and lost touch after I retired and moved away from The Pas. John’s heart was in the right place, he believed in children and did everything within his power to help them achieve academic and life success through his assessments. The world is a better place because John was here to serve children with his expertise, knowledge and passion. I never knew his daughter but he spoke of her often and I want her and the family to know they should be proud of achievements.

  2. I became aware of John’s death today.

    Prior to John working in The Pas, Mb, he was in Thompson, Mb Our professional relationship grew personal and culminated in some fishing trips. He enjoyed life, academia and the outdoors. He had an astute mind based on his love for learning.

    While in The Pas, I corresponded with him over the phone and in person on a few occasions. Always stimulating.

    He spoke of his daughter Christina on occasion….she can feel free to contact me about his years in the Northern part of Manitoba

  3. A great friend and colleague. Fabulous intellect. Many happy and memorable times together debating, fishing, exploring, cooking, and dining in northern Manitoba. I miss him dearly.

  4. I just learned of John’s passing today. He was great friends with my stepfather and would often attend dinners at our house on Sunday evenings bringing some special homemade sausage or wild meat, loaded with Fennel and other spices. He had a great sense of humour and always had great questions to ask that made me feel included in the adult conversations. He enjoyed foraging in the wilderness, had an interest in prospecting, and was a true intellectual. He made an impression on me as a young man and I have thought of him often. What I remember most is John’s sense of humour and his laugh, he had a way of asking me questions that made me think of things more deeply and made me feel important. I am truly sad to hear of his passing. My condolences to his family and friends.

  5. RIP Woz
    Everytime I returned to Edmonton, I looked for you. Just hoping for one last time to converse. But now I know that you have gone fishing with Cotechini.

  6. You always loved the variety a smorgasbord offered, in ideas, in daily life, and at the dinner table. I’ve missed your sharp wit and the wide ranging conversation of our association from years ago. The last times we talked, but a scant few years ago, was over coffee in the Garneau neighbourhood. And then you disappeared. I knew we’d not likely meet again when your house was redeveloped. Now I know. Your laughter, concern, and connection to the world lives on in my memory, a satisfying chapter in the book of life.

    A friend (thanks Judy) recently made the connection here.

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