It is with great sadness that we announce the sudden passing of Johan Hedlund.

Born in Sweden, he would spend parts of his childhood there, in Japan, and Montreal, where he eventually settled. As a child in Japan, his near-white, blonde hair occasionally attracted more curiosity than he or his mother would have liked when out and about!

His passions reflected the interest he had in the world and people in general. He enjoyed many types of music, though the Beatles would arguably rank highest. He enjoyed sports with the Canadiens, Expos, Dodgers, Blue Jays and Swedish national teams often featuring prominently on various bits of headwear. He was an avid traveller, a bug which he likely caught at young age with the move to Japan. Fascinated by the natural world, he happily championed stranger, lesser-known creatures regardless of which habitat they called home.

He was proud of his position at the United Nations’ Convention on Biological Diversity office, where, in his way, he could contribute to the well-being of the planet. He worked there for sixteen years and developed many meaningful friendships that extended beyond the workplace.

Predeceased by his father and his mother, he is survived by his brother and sister-in-law, family in Sweden, godson and friends both near and far.


You're invited to 

Æterna funeral complex 

55 Rue Gince Saint-Laurent, QC H4N 1J7

on the 6 of May  2022

from 2pm to 6pm 


vendredi 6 mai 2022
  • 14:00


Friday, May 6, 2022
  • 2:00 PM

Andrew Bowers

It’s hard to believe I had only just recently been joking around with Johan about his early retirement starting just two short months from now, “the next phase of my life” as he eagerly announced on Facebook. But April is the cruelest month, cruel being the only word to describe Johan being robbed of that phase he so richly deserved. But if he could see us all grieving for him now, I can guarantee he’d want us to lighten up, joke about it even. That’s what I remember most about Johan: he was a really, really funny guy who had us in stitches pretty much every single day. He always brightened the rooms he went into, the light of his good nature and humor always on. I remember one tense all staff meeting just prior to the COP when the ES at the time barked at him “Where are we with X?” and Johan without hesitation said “Oh, I ditched X, I’m not working on that anymore.” Stunned silence. We all put our fingers in our ears as the ES’s face got redder and redder until Johan, just in the nick of time, swatted the air and said breezily, “Just kidding!” Anyone else would have been defenestrated right there and then but instead the conference room erupted with laughter including, remarkably, the ES’s. And I’ll never forget the fun we had riffing in the corridors and online (especially when John Fry joined in) even if half the time I couldn’t keep up with those zingers of his, they were just too good, like so much of the rest of him. So long, dear Viking. I can picture you now in Valhalla seated in some great hall with your countrymen, Habs tuque on, Beatles playing in the background, reunited with your beloved dog Jasper. As you raise that beer horn, no doubt you’re making a crack about your early retirement. Skål! We’re going to miss you.

Olle Olsson

Vila i frid! Hälsningar farbror Olle

Karin Olsson

Johan, jag saknar dig och hade sett fram emot att du skulle flytta hem till Sverige igen. Ha det bra där du är och tack för att jag fick vara din kusin!

Espace commémoratif de Johan Henrik HEDLUND

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