JR Rardon, the way the people of Vancouver Island were probably most used to seeing him. (Sandy Grenier photo)

‘A bottomless well of love for people and communities’

Parksville Qualicum Beach News editor JR Rardon dies at age 61

A staunch voice for the people and the communities of Vancouver Island has gone quiet.

JR Rardon, the editor of the Parksville Qualicum Beach NEWS and a longtime Vancouver Island journalist, died in his Alberni Valley home in the early hours of May 22 after a two-year battle with cancer. He was 61.

NEWS publisher Peter McCully, who promoted him from reporter to editor in 2017, remembers a bottomless camera bag, and a bottomless well of love for people and communities and the chance to tell their stories.

“You couldn’t ask for a better colleague, JR had a great sense of humor and had a huge love of community and community newspapers,” McCully said. “All the staff loved him.”

RELATED: Veteran Island journalist battles cancer through pioneering treatment

McCully described Rardon’s work as “thoughtful, balanced and hopeful,” an approach he not only brought to his craft, but to the people around him.

American-born, he worked as a sportswriter for several daily papers in the United States before relocating to Vancouver Island with his family in 2006. He joined the NEWS in 2015 after serving as reporter, photographer and/or editor at Black Press community papers in Port Hardy and Campbell River.

He made a big impact on Port Hardy native Tyson Whitney, who eventually followed in his footsteps as editor of the North Island Gazette.

“JR Rardon was a newspaper legend here in the North Island,” Whitney said. “Even after five straight years of non-stop writing and taking pictures, I still think that no matter how hard I try, I’ll never be as good as JR was at journalism. His articles and photography truly stand the test of time.

“His sports coverage while he lived here was exemplary, with my absolute favourite article of his being the one he wrote on the 2013 Seven Hills Golf Club’s Men’s Open. I wasn’t at the event, but after reading JR’s article, it felt like I had been front row for every swing of the golf club.

“The North Island will miss him. He was one of a kind.”

He was also an inspiration to his eldest daughter Elena, now a reporter at the Alberni Valley News.

“I may be a writer, but there are no words for how much my dad meant to me and how unfair it is that he was taken from us so soon,” she wrote on her Facebook page. “He taught me how to shoot with a DSLR and helped me get my first job with a newspaper. He had a kind heart and a great sense of humour. I wouldn’t be the person I am today if it wasn’t for him.

“I’ll always cherish the memories I have of him and I’m so grateful for the time we were able to spend together. Rest easy, Dad. I love you so much.”

JR is also survived by daughters Maia and Nora, and wife Pamela.

There is no service planned at this time due to COVID-19 restrictions and the fact that most of his extended family still lives in the U.S. In lieu of flowers, please make a donation in his name to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society of Canada.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter 

Parksvillequalicum beachvancouverisland

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

From left: Maia, Nora, Elena and JR Rardon enjoy a Cubs game in Seattle back in April 2019. (Photo submittted)

Just Posted

North Island College receives $125,000 donation from accounting firm

The donation from Chan Nowosad Boates will be used to purchase technology as well to award bursaries for students

Mobile Health Unit takes to Campbell River streets

KDC Health-operated health bus offers holistic approach to health

Vancouver Island business ad unintentionally features OK gesture linked to white supremacy

Innocuous ‘OK’ gesture in cleaning franchise advertisement gets flak on social media for ‘supposedly’ promoting white supremacy

RCMP disarm man experiencing mental health crisis

The male pulled a knife on officers and then held it to his own throat expressing a desire to die

Mowi’s B.C. salmon farms achieve environmental certification from independent watchdog

Aquaculture Steward Council certification complies with 500 sustainability and social measures

B.C. sees 25 new COVID-19 cases, community exposure tracked

One death, outbreaks remain in two long-term care facilities

VIDEO: Vancouver Island cat missing 18 months reunited with family

Blue the cat found at Victoria museum 17 kilometres from home

Mirror business directory and map

If you’d like to be added to the list, shoot us an email

VIDEO: Alberta man rescues baby eagle believed to be drowning in East Kootenay lake

Brett Bacon was boating on a lake in Windermere when he spotted the baby eagle struggling in the water

Minivan driver’s speed a factor in fatal 2018 Malahat crash

Driver was travelling at 110 km/h in a construction zone

Comox Valley RCMP looking for missing woman

Ami Guthrie was last seen in Courtenay in early July

Conservationists raise concerns over state of care for grizzly cubs transferred to B.C. zoo

‘Let them be assessed now before their fate is sealed,’ urges B.C. conservationist Barb Murray

B.C.’s COVID-19 job recovery led by tourism, finance minister says

Okanagan a bright spot for in-province visitor economy

National Kitten Day aka the ‘purrfect’ day to foster a new friend

July 10 marks National Kitten Day, a special day to celebrate all things kittens

Most Read