September 19, 1939 – March 31, 2018
John Bingisser, 78, was born on September 19, 1939 in Seattle and passed away suddenly on Saturday afternoon at his home in Marysville on March 31, 2018.
John was one of 17 children born to Emilie Neely Bingisser and Karl Bingisser. Despite various foster care placements, John loved life and lived it to the fullest. A highlight of his childhood was his acceptance in Ivan Novikoff’s Russian American Ballet School of Seattle where he learned to do the famous HOPAK dance, wrongly called Cossacks dance, or Russian squat dance. This dance is rooted in the Ukraine. It is one of the hardest moves in ballet, which he was known to spontaneously perform even into his 40’s.
John and his siblings were placed into foster care as young children. He experienced many placements throughout his childhood. It was as a young teenager that he finally settled in with The Pages. He fondly remembers Jack Page, who treated him well and taught him several things about the restaurant business which included washing more than his share of dishes.
In his later teen years, John decided to join the military, a decision he never regretted. He served in the United States Army in several capacities before he attended jump school and proudly served with the US Army 101st Airborne Screaming Eagles.
After his honorable discharge he married Bonnie K. Craig, a union that lasted 12 years and produced three children (his girls). He married June Bartzat Bingisser, a union which lasted 37 years, and ended with June's untimely death on April 11, 2008. While attending classes at church he met Cheryl and they started to visit outside of class, built a relationship and were married August of 2009. They enjoyed life, laughter, love, traveling, missions, and many activities together.
John was very outgoing, energetic and social. He developed friendships easily and picked up friends wherever he went. He could be found in his garage working on a project or fixing something creatively for somebody else. He loved to travel to new places in this country and the world.
Many of John’s relationships date back to the early 60's through another of his passions: car racing. In the early years, John raced figure 8's with his brother Marty. He had many friends in the racing sector and grew to know many more throughout the years. He went on to race modified’s, late model sportsmen and drove the NASCAR Northwest tour. He participated in racing school in Riverside California, an experience made much richer by participating together with his beloved nephew Steve Craig whom he loved deeply. He enjoyed the knowledge, but mostly the people.
John also loved hunting, a hobby he picked up in the late 80s with son-in-law Christopher (6-28-17) and daughter Jandell (J.R.) Koontz, while visiting them at their mountain home in the Entiat Valley. Hunting was a hobby John enjoyed for many years. He appreciated just being out in the woods and exploring with various people up through and including the last hunting season, with his dear friend Bob Betzler.
Over the years, John went on an abundance of mission trips to China. He traveled at least once and sometimes two and three times a year. He got to know many people in China, a country he grew to love and admire. He also made two missions trips to Puerto Rico. He really enjoyed being involved with the people and with the other missionary’s.
John was a very proud union member and had a long career as a steam fitter/pipe fitter with Local 32 where he earned his 50-year pin. This career took him all over Alaska including Dutch Harbor, Kodiak, Naknek, Anchorage and other islands. He also worked down at Satsop, Rock Island and many jobs right here in the Seattle area. He dearly enjoyed teaching the trade to apprentice workers, often sitting out in his trailer in his driveway with guys who were trying to learn. He enjoyed watching others grow and succeed. Throughout his many years on the job, John made many dear friends that he enjoyed and kept for the rest of his life. To name a few, Griz, Betzler, Terry, Randy, Sid, Peterson, Novotny, Andy, Bates, Flinstone, Danny Burnes, and others who have passed on. John will be missed by those dear friends and the many other friends he made at the places where they held their coffee clubs throughout the years.
All who knew John, would attest that he was willing to help anybody, at any time, day or night. And if he said it, he meant it, and he would be true to his word always! John went above and beyond what anybody else expected. John was a great provider and always made sure his wife and children were well cared for. He was an exceptional father, going way out of his way to be there for his kids in so many unimaginable ways.
He was a big kid at heart. He loved all sports and was a great athlete. He was incredibly strong. He made things a lot of fun for his kids by just being with us. There was usually some kind of a ball involved, as he taught us to play blood and guts sports. It never occurred to him that there would be a divide as his girls played football, baseball, basketball, street hockey and jacks. While not tall of stature, he was a GIANT of a man in character. His boots would be hard to fill! He also became a strong and devoted man of faith and was not shy, but not abrasive about sharing that faith. His loss is HUGE in the lives of his family, as well as his many friends.
John is survived by his wife Cheryl, two brothers Bob and Al Bingisser, his loving daughters Terry Sampson (Tim), Renee (Sue), and Jandell (J.R) Koontz (Christopher 6/18/17) as well as 8 grandchildren, 8 great-grandchildren, adopted grandchildren in China, nieces, nephews and many dear and cherished friends and extended family. John loved many and he was loved by many.
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April 15, 2018
John could always get me to smile when I came to church upset. I'm so grateful for having been able to know him. Thank you for believing in me.