John Lewis Van Slack passed away peacefully in his sleep at his home in Medford, Ore., on September 11, 2011.
John, known fondly by his friends as Van, was born on October 11, 1926. He grew up in Alameda, Calif., where he met his future sweetheart, Dale Lind, while attending Alameda High School. On their first date he picked her up in a Ford Model A, which required Dale to hold two wires together for the headlights to work. Though she was slightly concerned about electrocution, she said it made her feel needed and their romance was set into motion.
On June 10, 1944, John enlisted to fight in World War II. While overseas, Dale sent John letters and photos until he was honorably discharged November 5, 1946. On November 30, 1946, John and Dale were married.
The happy couple raised three sons, Michael, Donald, and Thomas, in Concord, Calif. In 1953, the Van Slack family was among 70 founding members of Good Lutheran Church
John started working for Shell Oil Refinery in Martinez, Calif., in 1956 as a machinist. In 1985, after working for Shell for nearly 30 years, he retired. During his tenure at Shell, he made many lifelong friendships that he treasured deeply. John was an active Shell alumnus and he and Dale went on many international trips with fellow Shell alumni.
In 1991, John and Dale moved to Medford, Ore., where their son, Donald, built their retirement home. Shortly after moving, they joined Zion Lutheran Church.
John enjoyed working with his hands. He loved the outdoors and spent a lot of time camping and fishing with family and friends on various rivers and lakes in Oregon and California.
John and Dale celebrated their 50-year wedding anniversary before she preceded him in death. John is survived by his sons, Michael (Belinda), Donald (Connie), and their daughter, Michelle, Thomas (Cathy) and their daughters, Sandra and Robin.
The immediate family will hold a private memorial service. In lieu of flowers please send donations in John's name to: Asante Hospice; 2600 Siskiyou Blvd Ste #100; Medford, OR 97504.