John Lewis Quanz
September 6, 1940 – March 31, 2022
John Lewis Quanz, a loving brother, husband, father, and grandfather, passed away peacefully at his home in Bellingham on Thursday March 31, 2022, about 4:15 AM which was the time to get up and head for the Fertilizer office to work and start the coffee. John was born in Kingfisher Oklahoma in 1940 to his parents Howard and Lola Quanz. John’s family moved to Whatcom County when he was 4 years old where he lived until his death.
John attended Silver Beach School and graduated from Bellingham High School in 1958 graduating with perfect attendance record. There John made many friends and remained in contact with many of them throughout his lifetime.
John married and bought a small home in 1963 where he raised his four children. He remarried and helped raise three stepchildren who also called it home. He remained in that home until his passing.
John had a strong work ethic giving 110% to any task. John worked for Western Farmers which had many names over the years and was often just called the Co-Op where he became the Manager of the Agronomy Division. His crew affectionately called him “Chief”. It is there where John made a lot of friends over the years doing what it took to ensure the customers had what they needed no matter the day or time. He was a regular attender of Cornwall Church of Bellingham.
For thirty years John would take a leave of absence from Co-Op life to commercial fish in Alaska with his friend and neighbor Forest but that ended in 1989 after the Exxon Valdez oil spill. On occasion John would help farmers by milking cows when needed. He finished his working career working part time for the US Department of Agriculture in Wildlife Services which he described as his dream job where Cathy also worked as a volunteer. He was recognized and awarded the 2010 Wildlife Specialist of the year for his territory.
When his children were little John volunteered as a little league coach and loved following all the kids he coached throughout their scholastic sports participation. He also volunteered to run the chains at Mt. Baker High School football games where he could watch the kids play. Later in life he began to play golf which he really enjoyed playing with friends at his Wednesday golf league at Raspberry Ridge Golf Course. To his family he was lovingly known as the king of the five iron.
John was an avid hunter and outdoorsman. He had many adventures growing up and hunting with his father. He loved hunting with his hounds and going to field trials where many of his hounds won frequently. He was especially proud of two of the hounds, Earl and Bob. He always found great joy being out in nature with Cathy and with his children, stepchildren, and later with his grandchildren. He was extremely proud of his children and grandchildren during local hunting excursions and always looked forward to hunting with relatives in Colville Washington. He also enjoyed experiences in Alaska, Canada, and in Africa where he had some of the best outdoor adventures with family and friends.
John and Cathy traveled extensively through the years to several continents and all 50 states. They also enjoyed ocean cruises and made many friends during their travels.
John was so well loved and was a delight to be around. Friendly, fun loving, and easy going, he always loved to be a prankster and tell jokes. In fact, many of you may have found yourself at the expense of one of his practical jokes as a result of his fun-loving character and actions. I think if so inclined we could have written a book on all the things he did to make us laugh. Whether family, friend, or a stranger you were not safe around John as he always had something up his sleeve to make everyone laugh. He was known for his generous nature and was always willing to give anyone the shirt off his back. John was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer known as Sezary Syndrome and passed away almost one year to the day of his diagnosis. After his diagnosis he said goodbye to his last few beef cows which saddened him greatly as he always had cows on the small farm. His family was his anchor through the year long struggle with the disease and one last message he had for his family was “tell them I love them”.
John was preceded in death by his parents Howard and Lola Quanz and sister Donna Millspaugh.
And he is survived by his wife of nearly 33 years, Cathy Tremaine Quanz, his children John Jr., Gene, Steve, Julie and their spouses and children, and stepchildren Chad, Scott, and Angela and their spouses and children. He is also survived by five of his six sisters Leita Nieshe, Perlene Johnson, Billey Force, Dina Woracek, and Sally Siverson and a large extended family.
A celebration of life for John will be held Saturday, July 30, 2022, 1:00 P.M. at the Quanz picnic area, 4971 Everson Goshen Road, Bellingham, WA.
In lieu of flowers, please remember John by contributing to your favorite Hospice Center, Cancer Center, or an Animal Conservation Group.