Funeral service will be held at 1:00PM on Thursday July 14, 2022 at St. Thomas Anglican Church with interment to follow at Chapel Cemetery. Viewing will be from 3PM-6PM on Wednesday at Wiebe Funeral Chapel, Morden. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in John's memory to the Morden Recreation Centre at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
J. D. ‘Scortch’ Sawatzky

1926 - 2022


Peacefully on Saturday July 9, 2022 just two months before his 96th birthday, ‘Scortch’ passed away with family by his side.

Scortch leaves to mourn his wife, Justina, children, Karla Hammond, Wendy Gravelle, Jenith and Lindsay Braun, six grandchildren: Leslee and Jeremy Simcoe, Robyn and Shawn Henry and Jarred Braun, Dayna and Shane Robb, Carly Hildebrand and Joey Sawatzky, nine great grands: Josh and Grayson Henry, Lucy and Reggie Robb, Kyleigh, Jaxx, Rhyder, Oakley and Hudson Hildebrand, sisters, Evelyn (Harv) Reimer and Frieda (Ron)Voigt, his sister-in-law, Marie (Len) and Alf Klassen along with many nieces, nephews and friends. He was predeceased by his wife, Jeanette Kate (nee Tasker), son, Doug ‘Scortch Jr.’; sisters, Marge (George) Harder, Erna (Charlie) Peters, brothers, Wally (Irene) and Leonard.

Dad was born to Suzanna and Jakob Johann Sawatzky, on a farm in Arnaud, Manitoba. Dad was the second eldest of seven children. The Sawatzky family moved to Winkler when Dad was just three months old. His father’s garage was right next door and all the Sawatzky brothers were excellent mechanics learning their trade from their father. Scortch married Jeanette Kate Tasker on October 20, 1951. They were in for a  bit of a surprise when two babies instead of one, Karla and Wendy arrived in November 1952. With a young wife and two babies to feed, Dad took a job in Dryden, Ontario at the pulp mill. Douglas Charles was arrived in 1955. The family returned to Morden in 1957. Dad worked for his father-in-law, Charlie Tasker at the Esso Bulk Fuel Station. Sister, Jenith made her debut in September 1957!!

Dad worked for Grampa (Charlie) Tasker for five years and then ventured out on his own with the Esso Service Station and Restaurant. Dad ran the service station and Mom the café. Dad had many teenage boys pumping gas and was very humbled when several of those ‘teenage boys’ return years later to thank him for the work ethic they learned, working for ‘Scortch’ at the Esso. After 11 years Dad sold the Esso and when the opportunity arose, he managed the Esso Bulk Oil Agency 1971-82. All through his working and retired life, Dad has given back to the community, he was a Volunteer fireman –for 23 years and  Life Member since 1983; Life Member of the Morden District Museum Inc. 1978; President  Kinsmen Club 1961-62; Treasurer, St. Thomas Anglican Church for 37 years; Town Council 1974-1977, Chair, Recreation Committee and Building Committee for the Morden Recreation Centre. On the Foundation Committee of the Morden Friendship Centre and seeing it to fruition, Chair 1998-99. Dad called Bingo at various locations for over 20 years. Dad received numerous volunteer and citizen Awards and Acknowledgements over the years and is in the Outstanding Volunteer Hall of Fame in the Morden Recreation Centre. Giving back has rubbed off on all your children and grandchildren as we all volunteer and work for our favourite charities. Dad loved his curling especially with his son, Doug and loved his Crib games teaching his kids, grandkids and great grands how to play both Crib and Uno. Scortch came 2nd in Snooker, Manitoba Masters Games 2007. When our Mom Jeanette passed away in 2010, Dad was heartbroken and very lonely. Dad was so fortunate to find love again when he met Justina. They enjoyed their Sunday drives and suppers out. They had a lovely family wedding in December 2011. Dad was always proud of us in school and sport: figure skating, hockey and curling. Doug and Dad loved their curling and crib games together. Dad was very proud to give his daughters away at their weddings and to dance at his granddaughters’ weddings, he loved to dance with ‘all his girls’ – he taught all his grandchildren the Bird Dance, yes including his grandsons!!! Dad and Justina loved dance and to get up and have a twirl! Dad was a special Grampa GG and loved all his great grandchildren; he loved to hear how they are doing and to see the latest photos! It was so sad that Covid kept him apart from his grandkids.

Dad, you have left a legacy to be proud of:

  • two special women have been in your life,
  • a ‘fantastic’ family and extended family;
  • you worked hard and achieved so much in your lifetime
  • You gave back to the community – still giving back at 85 and wanting to win the Lotto last month so you could donate to the hospital and Morden roads. 

Dad, you have been a great role model, you worked hard to give your family a good life; and served your community well. Rest in Peace Dad, your work here on earth is done.


Wiebe Funeral Chapel, Morden

In care of arrangements

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