John Austin Withem
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1954 - 2012
John Austin Withem entered into the presence of Jesus Christ on Sunday, Nov. 4, 2012.
Born to Lowell and Norma Withem of San Bernardino, John was the second of three children. As a child, John's grandmother left him a legacy that he followed for the rest of his life: to do all things whole-heartedly for the Lord (Colossians 3:23). Under the tutelage of his father, John studied violin, and was 17 when he performed as concert master in Carnegie Hall with America's Youth in Concert.
In 1977, John graduated with bachelor's degrees in both theology and music from Western Baptist College. From 2003 until the time of his death, he served as the lead pastor at Bayside Church of Woodland. He also served as chaplain for Pioneer High School's football team, founded Hero's Weekend – honoring our local public safety personnel, and was a member of YGRIP, an anti-gang task force.
After surviving his first battle with cancer in 1992, John was diagnosed with cancer again in February 2012. Throughout both battles John fought the good fight, kept the faith, and left his own legacy of living whole-heartedly for his Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
John is survived by his wife Nancy, daughter Cristen Johnson (Benjamin) and son Jonathan; mother Norma Withem, brother Ron Withem (Shelley), and sister Connie Dillon. He is also survived by many amazing nephews, nieces, great-nephews, and great-nieces. He was preceded in death by his father, Lowell Withem.
Please join John's family in celebrating his life at the Woodland Community & Senior Center, 2001 East St., at 3:30 p.m., Sunday, Nov. 18. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Bayside Church of Woodland, www.baysidewoodland.com; or to the Wiseman Cancer Research Foundation, 8900 Wilshire Blvd., Beverly Hills, 90211, (626) 318-0934.
Published in Daily Democrat from Nov. 14 to Dec. 15, 2012