- 30 Apr. 1926 - 23 Oct. 2019
John Beedle was born John Bedell in Westlock, AB to Herbert and Nellie Bedell. He was the second oldest of 6 children. He grew up working on the family homestead in Jarvie, AB. Beedle would later legally change his last name to better reflect his family’s roots. Beedle took an interest in nature as early as age 5, which would shape the rest of his life.
Beedle left home at 14 and worked various jobs before settling in St. Albert in 1962. In the late 1940s Beedle started his working career at a greenhouse in Kelowna, B.C. In the early 1950s he moved to Edmonton where he found employment at Calenso's Greenhouses and 2 years later worked at the city of St. Albert and bought a house on a small acreage on Grandin Road where he resided and cared for his mother for many years. Beedle moved through the ranks with the city of St. Albert as Parks Foreman, Parks Supervisor and in 1968 he was promoted to the position of Director of Parks and Recreation. In 1972 he became Parks Planner until his retirement in 1991. It was largely under his guidance, passion and vision that the city of St. Albert has developed its beautiful boulevards, parks, tree canopies and green spaces.
In 1989, both Beedle and former St. Albert Mayor Richard Plain came up with the idea of creating a volunteer run botanical park with a major rose garden as its centrepiece. Beedle spent countless volunteer hours helping to bring the St. Albert Botanic Gardens to fruition and the better part of the next 25 years creating the major gardens located throughout the present day botanical park. In honour of Beedle, St. Albert Botanic Park houses the John Beedle Volunteer Centre. Also, Beedle was a part of the original group that helped establish the St. Albert Garden Club in 1982 and spent many hours serving as a director with the Friends of the Devonian Botanic Garden society.
Beedle was also a member of the Edmonton Light Opera Society. He was an active participant in 26 productions over a 13 year period. In his younger days he sang in church choirs as a second tenor both as soloist and a member of the choir.