A familiar face to many with children in White Rock Elementary has passed away.
John Refeen, 74, who had been a crossing guard at the school for a decade, died July 30 at Surrey Memorial Hospital after a brief battle with cancer.
For those with longer memories, Refeen, known for his psychic abilities, was familiar in the 1980s as a frequent guest – often with fellow-psychic Ralph Hurst – on the South Surrey-based Shaw Cable community access show Date With Destiny, hosted by Pat Kilt.
He was also involved with community theatre, as a volunteer for White Rock Players Club and as an actor for the Candelighters and the Langley Players in the mid-1980s, including productions of There Goes The Bride and I Never Sang For My Father.
Others knew him as a one-time boating enthusiast and a fan of old British car makes who had once owned MG and Triumph sports cars.
But it was as a crossing guard that he was best known in recent years, said his son, Adrian.
“He loved the kids – he really got a lot of joy out of seeing the kids’ smiles every morning,” he said.
“That was his big reward.”
Born in London, England, he had studied as a draughtsman before emigrating to Canada at the age of 23, but subsequently went into a career selling store fixtures.
He, and his ex- wife, Marion, have two children, Adrian and Natalie, and three granddaughters – with another grandchild on the way.
A Celebration of Life will be held Tuesday, Aug. 18 at 7 p.m. at White Rock Community Centre.