Surrounded by his loving family, printing industry leader and mentor John V. Sands passed away at age 87 on December 31, 2020 at his home in Mississauga, Ontario, after a short battle with pancreatic cancer. Born in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, he excelled in athletics – including tennis, football, golf and especially speed skating. In fact, he represented Canada twice in the Olympics and for 12 years held the Canadian speed-skating record in the 500 metres. Sands moved to Montreal in 1958 where he met his wife Micheline of 57 years, who survives him along with their three children Stéphanie (Sean), Mélanie (JJ), and Eryk. John’s grandchildren Paisley, Sierra, Zoé and Janine will always remember their grandpa and his unconditional love for them. Sands is predeceased by his parents Anne & Michael, older brother Sandy, and survived by his older sister Irene.
From the 1970s to 1983, he was one of the top print-sales professionals for Apex Press Limited In Montreal. In 1981 he moved to Mississauga, Ontario. After Apex closed its doors in 1983, he founded John Sands & Associates (a leading print brokerage) and Apex Graphics/Graphiques Apex. The Mississauga-based commercial and specialty printer to the pharmaceutical industry is still thriving today. While in business, he exhibited the same hard work and perseverance that propelled him to success in sports. He was an avid golfer, a great friend and helper to many, traveled the world, and had a joke for every possible situation. Before he knew he was ill, he mentioned to friends that he’d done everything on his “bucket list” and had very few regrets.
“John was a friend, supporter and mentor for us when we started our own business,” recalled Gordon Elliott, President of What If Notes in Mississauga, Ontario. “Without the exceptional friendship and mentorship of John cheering us on, we would not exist. It was my family’s privilege to have known him and his family for over 30 years. During that time, we got to know John as a vibrant, thoughtful, caring and fun-loving individual. He was also a great icon in the printing industry. He had such a positive outlook and was always aware of important trends in our industry. He also practised the principle of ‘the seed you sow is the plant you harvest.’ John always took specific personal interest in his family, customers, employees and friends. We were among the first in his business circle to learn of his diagnosis, and had an opportunity to talk to him about his enduring faith and the numerous good works he had done over his remarkable lifetime. Thank you, John. We’ll see you in the by and by.”
– Your friends, Gordon, Laura, Jennifer and Daniel Elliott.