John passed away peacefully at home in Ellensburg on October 21, 2010 after a very brief illness.
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John was born on June 30, 1920, at the family home near Orting, WA. He was the second son and third child of John J. and Anna E. (Bloom) Bandli, who bought a dairy farm near South Prairie, WA soon after John's birth. He started milking cows about the same time he started talking, and shared stories of his happy childhood on "The Farm" for most of his 90 years.
John graduated as Salutatorian from Buckley (now White River) High School in 1938. Besides being strong academically, he participated in track, baseball and FFA, both showing and judging dairy cows for several years at the Puyallup Fair.
It was also in high school that John met Theodora Gillette, his future wife...but they didn't marry right away. In 1939, John went to Glendale, CA, where he attended Aviation Technology Institute and worked briefly for North American Aviation. He returned to Seattle and worked at Boeing from 1940 to 1944 and then served in the US Navy from 1944 to 1946.
John and Theo married on March 15, 1947 in Seattle and her "Lover" and his "Sweetie" spent the next 63 ½ years together, an example of true love to all who knew them. They raised their two daughters, Marilyn and Betty Lou, in Seattle and Lynnwood.
John returned to Boeing after his Navy service and worked there until 1950, when he began his 31-year career with Carnation Fresh Milk & Ice Cream Company. He started driving a home delivery milk truck, then changed to retail ice cream delivery all over the Seattle and South Seattle area and the North Bend/Snoqualmie area on his MonteVista routes. Dad made friends with customers everywhere his routes took him and thoroughly enjoyed his work and the people he worked with.
When he retired in 1981, he and Theo moved to Birch Bay, WA and for the next 17 years enjoyed an active retirement including several winter stints to Santa Barbara, CA and travels to Arizona and the midwest. John started golfing in the 1970s , got himself a hole-in-one on 9/4/76 and kept on golfing for the next 25 years. He also enjoyed gardening, art, good music, telling stories and eating pie. In 1997, John & Theo moved to Ellensburg to be closer to their daughters and their families. As Theo's physical health declined, John became her caregiver and shined in that role, which he considered a privilege.
John was preceded by his parents, John and Ann and his brother, Robert. He is survived by his beloved Sweetie Theo, his sisters Bernice and Dolores, both of Seattle, his daughters and sons-in-law, Marilyn and Gentry Scott and Betty Lou and Pat Martin, of Ellensburg, his grandchildren, Jensen Scott of Red Lodge, Montana and Hattie and her husband William Yarwood of Ellensburg, his best friends Fred and Jackie Holtz of Moses Lake and Oscar Jensen of Mercer Island and all of his and Theo's cousins, nieces and nephews in the the Prestidge, Bessette, Babcock, Jacobsmeier and Bandli families.
John was a kind and gentle optimist who loved his family and friends dearly. He truly enjoyed life, and he truly lived a good one.
"...For those we love don't go away.
They walk beside us everyday.
Unseen and unheard but always near,
So loved, so missed and so very dear."
All are invited to join us for pie and ice cream in John's honor on Saturday, October 30th from 2:00 – 4:00 p.m. At the Rosewood Community Clubhouse.
Grave side service will be 11 am Saturday the 30th at High Valley Cemetery.
There will also be a memorial gathering at the Rose Wood community room at 2 pm on Saturday the 30th.
Steward & Williams Tribute Center
301 East Third Avenue
Ellensburg, WA 98926
Published in Daily Record from Oct. 25 to Nov. 1, 2010