John Samuel Edgar died June 1, 2016 in Bellingham after a long, and hard fought battle with Alzheimer's disease. John was born on August 6, 1931 in a small town in southern Illinois. The second son of a mine worker father and school teacher mother, John started his education early as he accompanied his mother and brother Bill to a one-room schoolhouse where he listened and learned quite early. This ability to listen, to engage with others and to learn from them were qualities that later came to define him. With money scarce during the Depression, the family of four jointly decided what could be afforded and what could be sacrificed, voting for food over new overalls. John's father became an electrician and moved his family to Vancouver, WA to work in the shipyards during WWII. In Vancouver, John was an able student and athlete. After school, he enlisted in the Army 82nd Airborne. He later attended the University of Washington where he was was editor of the UW daily. As a tribute to his skills as a newsman, he was granted a private interview with candidate John F. Kennedy in 1959. John later worked as a labor representative for the Teamster's Union in Yakima and Bellingham, and completing his career as head of the union. Active in the Democratic party, John worked relentlessly to ensure members rights, fair compensation and decent working conditions. He was always a passionate advocate for those who could not speak for themselves, and proudly served on the board of the WA State ACLU. Upon his death, friends and acquaintances all remember John's great sense of humor, his warmth and his curiosity about everything around him. John's wit was smart and incisive, but never unkind. He was charismatic, fun, and much loved by his many friends. John is survived by his wife of 40 years, Susan, with whom he shared a wonderful life filled with rewarding work, art, music, travel, history and laughter. John is also survived by his four children, Michael of Yakima; Rachael (husband Dan) and Mary of Seattle; Luke and wife Sara of Park City, Utah and grandchildren, Ivy and Reilly. John's brother and best friend Bill preceded him in death in 2014. A celebration of John's life will take place at a later date. Memorials may be sent in honor of John to Whatcom Hospice, 2800 Douglas Street, Bellingham WA. Arrangements by:
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Published in Bellingham Herald on June 19, 2016