Colonel John David Joly, OMM, CD was born in 1928, son of Mr, and Mrs, Roger Joly of Sudbury.
John had a decorated military service with innumerable accomplishments; his peers described him as an innovative thinker, a superb writer, a patient teacher, a brilliant leader, and a tireless workmate. He joined the Canadian Armed Forces as a Private in 1965 and retired as a full Colonel in 1995.
His career as a Commissioned Officer began in 1968 with the 1st Queen’s Own Rifles of Canada. When the 1st Battalion QOR was rebadged e was posted to the 2nd Battalion Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry (2 PPCLI) in West Germany.
He would return to CFB Baden-Baden again in 1977 to serve as a company commander in 3 Battalion with the Royal Canadian Regiment and finally in 1986 as a Lt-Colonel Commanding 2 PPCLI.
In Canada, John served as Aide de Camp for the Chief of Defence Staff in 1977 and completed the Canadian Land Forces Command and Staff Course. In 1980 he attended Canadian Forces Command and Staff College; followed by Mobile Command Headquarters in Montreal. In 1985 he received the Order of Military Merit. As a Colonel, John became Base Commander of CFB Calgary, which included the construction of the military museum in Calgary; and the establishment of the United Nations Military Observer Group El Salvador where he worked on the peace plan adopted by the UN and the combatants. In the early 1990s he attended National Defence College Kingston and would finish his career in Montreal at Army Headquarters.
Not one to retire, John started his next chapter of new challenges, including establishing Simulation Training Centres across Canada, delivering expertise to the Vancouver Urban Search and Rescue Group, readiness exercises for the Laboratory Centre for Disease Control, and expanding airfields throughout the Democratic Republic of the Congo for United Nations peacekeeping operations.
Amongst his career highlights, his time with 1 Commando of the Canadian Airborne Regiment where he was sent to Cyprus on the eve of the Turkish invasion in 1974 was formative. At the time of his passing, he was collaborating with his brothers-in-arms to return to Cyprus for the 50th-anniversary reunion in 2024.
Finally settling in Victoria, BC, John enjoyed fishing with his many comrades and friends. He was a keen volunteer for the CFB Esquimalt Power Boat Club – his generosity and experience resulted in the rebuilding of the club’s marina. John led a life of adventure.
John passed peacefully on 22 January 2023, leaving Marilee his beloved wife of 54 years, his son Jason, daughter Erin and grandchildren Maddox and Atticus; his sisters Patricia, Nancy, and Ruth and their children.