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John Haskell Lichtenwalner

John Haskell Lichtenwalner, 94, of Jacksonville Ore., passed away peacefully January 4, 2016 at Providence Medical Center in Medford, Ore., surrounded by members of his family. John was a man who lived for his family and his faith.

He was born August 28, 1921 to Irene Haskell Lichtenwalner and John J. Lichtenwalner in Seattle, Wash. He was their first son. He attended the University of Washington in Seattle, but volunteered for the infantry after 3 years at the start of World War II. He served as a pilot in the 475th Fighter Group in the U.S. Army Air Corps, flying air reconnaissance missions as the leader of a P-38 squadron. After serving in the South Pacific, he was transferred to Korea and flew air reconnaissance missions over military sites, including Hiroshima. At the end of WWII, he was admitted to the prestigious Art Center College of Design in Los Angeles.

The direction of his life changed when he met a TWA hostess on a southern California beach. Her name was Laura Frances Groves (Francie). Their 66 years of marriage began in a quiet ceremony November 7, 1949 in Manhattan Beach, Calif. While aiming for New York, they stopped off in San Francisco and didn’t leave the Bay Area until 20 years and six children later.

John supported his family as a freelance commercial artist in San Francisco, becoming a founding member and one of the first presidents of the San Francisco Society of Illustrators during the heyday of advertising art, the 1950s and 60s. His paintings are distinctive and he produced art for a wide swath of national and international corporate brands. He was commissioned by the Armed Forces to create several paintings, one of which was displayed at the Pentagon.

Ever the adventurous spirit, he and Francie left city life to move the family to Medford, Ore. in 1971. He enjoyed an illustrious career that lasted over 20 years at Bear Creek Corporation, retiring as Executive Art Director. Many of the annual Harry & David Christmas catalog covers which were nationally distributed originated from his unique paintings.

John retired in 1988 to concentrate on painting narrative landscapes, many of which were commissioned by Rogue Valley residents. He was a gifted gardener, partnering with Francie, and his daughter Susan, to craft terraced gardens at their Jacksonville home. He was a lifelong Catholic, a strong supporter of Sacred Heart and Shepherd of the Valley parishes, and a valued member of the Augustinian seculars in the Rogue Valley.

John is survived by his loving wife Francie; their son, John G. Lichtenwalner (Marne) of Phoenix, Oregon; his daughters, Susan Lichtenwalner (Alex) of Jacksonville, Oregon, Dr. Anne Barr Lichtenwalner (Karl) of Orono, Maine, Sarah G. Lichtenwalner of Eugene, Ore., Catherine Lichtenwalner May (Brian) of Medford, Ore., and Mary Baer Fiorentino (Marty) of Jacksonville, Florida; his adoring grandchildren, Kendra Chandra Lichtenwalner, Ryan Lichtenwalner (Christie), Katelyn Lichtenwalner, Anna Nicole May, John Kyle May, Elizabeth Catherine May, and Elizabeth Kathryn Baer; and two great-grandchildren, Sebastian Maddox Baer and Arthur Heron Chasse; his brothers, Dr. Craig S. Lichtenwalner (Chad) of Atlanta, Georgia and Owen C. Lichtenwalner (Susan) of Suwannee, Georgia; and his sister, Marion Henderson (Larry) of Las Vegas, Nev.; and many nieces, nephews, great-nieces and great-nephews.

A funeral mass and a celebration of John’s life will be held at Shepherd of the Valley Church during the first week of February 2016, followed by a memorial service and interment at the Eagle Point Veterans Cemetery.

The family welcomes your memories of John; please communicate with anne.lichtenwalner@gmail.com. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that contributions in John’s memory be made to the Shepherd of the Valley Catholic Church, 600 Beebe Road, Central Point, Ore. 97502. Please designate that the donation should go to the Mexico mission.

John Haskell Lichtenwalner