John was born on April 18, 1921, in Princeton to Henry and Mary Tiedje and died on July 18, 2013, in Sarnia, ON. John spent most of his youth in Trail, BC, where his father worked at the Cominco smelter. John was president of the UBC Varsity Outdoor Club and in 1945 joined the research department of Imperial Oil Ltd. in Sarnia.
He is an inventor or co‑inventor on 24 patents. From 1969‑71 he was on loan to ESSO France, in Rouen, as Directeur des Recherches, later returning to Sarnia to become manager of the Imperial Oil Research Department with more than 400 employees. He retired in 1984. John was active in the affairs of the World Petroleum Congress, serving from 1979‑83 as chairman of the Canadian National Committee and participating in the international organization from 1983‑87 as a member of the Scientific Program Committee, the Executive Board and the Permanent Council. In 2007 he was awarded Honorary Associate Life Membership in the Canadian Association for the World Petroleum Council.
On many early summer holidays he drove with his family to a cabin at Christina Lake. Later, he and his wife Dorothy sailed on Lake Huron and went for hikes with the Field Botanists of Ontario – John was an accomplished wildflower photographer. He is predeceased by his daughter, Ellen, and son‑in‑law Harry, and his sister, Patricia. He is survived by his sister, Marian; his son, Tom (Glenna); daughter, Jane (Steve); son, Henry (Dina); five grandchildren; and his wife of 65 years, Dorothy.