January 21, 1935 - July 21, 2021
Modesto, California - John passed on July 21, surrounded by family. John was born in Squirrel, Idaho, the youngest of six boys to Frieda and William Harrigfeld. John grew up on the family ranch just east of Ashton and attended North Fremont High School where he participated in football, basketball and skiing. After high school John attended the University of Idaho, where he met his future wife Jackie Thorson. In 1958, John and Jackie were married, and moved to Evanston, Illinois.
John attended Northwestern University where he earned a Master of Science and a Doctor of Dental Surgery and completed his residency at Cook County Hospital in Chicago, IL. In 1963, the family moved to Louisville, KY, where he was appointed as an Assistant Professor of Oral Surgery at the University of Louisville School of Dentistry. In 1965, the family moved to Modesto, CA where John began his private practice. During his 30 years as an Oral Surgeon, he was very active in the Stanislaus Dental Society and served as President. He was also a member of Del Rio Country Club for over 50 years and served on the Board as well as President of the club in 1994-1995. John was also an active member in the Modesto Downtown Rotary Club.
In addition to dentistry, John loved to farm. The family moved to 30 acres of almonds just north of Modesto. It was very important that his children understood where they came from and the importance of having a good work ethic. John spent a lifetime teaching his children about work, farming, hunting, fishing and the responsibility of raising animals (dogs, horses, cattle and sheep).
One of the things that John always loved was taking his family on vacation. It was very important to him that his children got to spend time with their grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins. Many cherished memories were created on trips to Thorson's Pond, Weiser ID and the Grand Tetons, Ashton, ID.
John loved the outdoors, which led to many trips with family and friends. All of his trips included his passions golfing, skiing, hunting, fishing and just being with people. He provided his children and grandchildren with a multitude of experiences: Skiing, golfing, tennis, horse showing, horse packing, fishing, hunting, trap shooting, snowmobiling, rafting, farming, moving and working cattle.
A later passion in life was woodworking, he made several pieces of furniture, a built in bookcase and numerous hardwood humidors.
His greatest love was spending time with his grandchildren. John was a great teacher and mentor for both his children and grandchildren.
John is survived by his children: Sonya Harrigfeld-Jackson (Ken); Leslie Bergquist (Dennis); Chris Harrigfeld; Karna Petrulakis (George); his grandchildren, Matthew, Mark and Lauren; his brother Fritz Harrigfeld and numerous nieces and nephews. John was preceded in death by his wife Jackie, parents William and Frieda Harrigfeld, and brothers Chris, William, Ernest, and Ira Harrigfeld.
A Celebration of Life service will be held on Tuesday, August 3, 4:00 pm at Franklin and Downs Funeral Home, 1050 McHenry Avenue, Modesto, CA. A graveside service will be held on Friday, August 6th at 11:00 AM at Hillcrest Cemetery in Weiser, Idaho.
In lieu of flowers, please donate to your community Hospice or Habitat for Humanity
Published by Idaho Statesman on Aug. 1, 2021.