J. (John) Deyholos

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John Deyholos was an Alberta Land Surveyor from 1963 to 2004.

John was born and raised in Manitoba. He moved to Calgary and received his training as a land surveyor at SAIT. He was respected in his profession and was a past president of Alberta Land Surveyors’ Association. John was also very active in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. John had a unique personality and a great sense of humour.

John worked for the Department of Highways for many years and established his own company, Frontier Survey Services Inc., in 1984.

During his career, he served on the Association’s Registration Committee, Discipline Committee, and Practice Committee, to name just a few.


Upon his passing, Clayton Bruce wrote the following:

I first met John in the fall of 1955 when we entered the Land Surveying Course at the Provincial Institute of Technology and Art (now SAIT). It was a tough go for a couple of farm boys. We studied together some, which helped.

At the end of the first year, we took jobs with the BC Forest Service. John worked on road construction of logging roads. He stayed on all that year and returned to SAIT in the fall of 1957, receiving his diploma in 1958. He returned to the Forest Service for a year, then found employment with Alberta Transportation in Calgary where I also was employed.

John articled to Albert Tonsoo, ALS and worked on highway boundary surveys. He received his Dominion Land Surveyor commission in April of 1963 and his Alberta Land Surveyor’s commission on June 13th of that same year.

John worked on road surveys in the Lethbridge and Crowsnest Pass areas. He also worked on control surveys in the Zama Lake area.

John served as assistant director, Property Services Branch of Alberta Transportation and president of the ALSA in 1976. He worked for Stanley and Associates in Edmonton and Calgary and for Canadian Engineering Surveys.

He operated his own practice in Calgary, Frontier Surveys Services Inc., until his passing. John was a member of the ALSA Registration and Discipline committees. He was also one of the founding members of the J.H. Holloway Scholarship Foundation.

During our years with Alberta Transportation we, for the most part, did our field work in the summer and finalized our plans during the winter months. We had a hockey team and John was the goaltender.

John and I often talked about our early life on the farm. John came from a farm in Beulah, Manitoba and I from Forestburg, Alberta. Farm life was pretty well the same, that is except for the rats in Manitoba. John had a great story on this.

As a background to the story, farm families would spend most of the daylight hours working in the fields and would return home in the evening. After supper, they would light up the coal oil lanterns and go out to feed the livestock and milk the cows. It was indeed a great event when power was installed. Most farms had a yard light which could be turned on and off as needed by a switch in the farm house. John said when they turned the yard light on they could see rats scurrying everywhere. A short time later, he and his dad went to an auction sale and bought a gunny sack full of cats for their farm. John remarked that a few months later when they turned on the yard light, they could see cats scurrying everywhere.

John passed away on January 9, 2004. He was a good member of the Association and was always willing when called upon for help or advice. I will sure miss him.