OBITUARY

John A. Houck

April 26, 1959June 8, 2019
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John Adrian Houck April 26, 1959 - June 8th, 2019

What I know about John - the child, I have seen through scrap books that his mother put together, the colorful stories he has told, and the pictures he’s shared.

John spent his entire life in the Yakima Valley, born at Memorial Hospital in 1959. Much to his parents’ surprise, as he came long after his brother and sister were nearly grown. He grew up in West Valley and lived most of his childhood in one home. He has fond memories of life there, and told me that he once had a very large pet turtle, he is a cat lover and Garfield was definitely his favorite!

John was doted on by his parents, Fred and Harelwillo; but raised with discipline, kindness, respect and love. His father had retired from the Air Force around the time that John started attending school and they spent most summers on vacation getaways; like fishing, camping in the mountains or boating on numerous lakes around WA State. They even went to Disneyland once or twice.

John had an interest in, and was encouraged to participate in many activities; he played baseball, rode motorbikes, and had earned a black belt in karate by the time he was a teenager. I’ve heard that he was an avid water skier and loved to skidoo.

He spent his teenage years outside of school with family and friends, occasionally working as a roady for various Rock & Roll bands when they would have shows nearby. His buddy Marty Morin’s family, were friends with Evil Kinevil, and he got to help with shows when they were in town. He even got to party with a few rock stars now and then.

At some point in his young life, John also worked as an EMT, driving ambulance, and was a volunteer fire fighter, until Rheumatoid Arthritis affected his abilities. He knew CPR, and has many other skills to assist those in need. He also worked in retail for a few years at Bi-Mart as the Automotive Manager, before getting to do the job he most loved.

John has a tremendous love of flying, we have video footage of him taking a flight while learning to get his pilot license. He was also obsessed with video games connected to flight, having one or two flight simulator programs, and he used it to land a plane in the Hudson river just like Captain “Sully” so he could see if it was possible, using the same exact plane and a very specific type of joy stick for it.

John has a knack for technology, and helped create one of the very first ever computer networked billboard systems in Yakima. He also helped one of his friends set up a local computer networking business in town that still operates to this day. This led to a 28-year career with the Yakama Indian Nation as a Computer and Network Specialist, he also worked as “Interim” IT Manager for nearly a year and a half, leaving that position only a few months before cancer struck in 2014.

His favorite band is RUSH, and he’s been to see them every time they’ve been within driving distance. I had the privilege of taking him to his last RUSH concert at Key Arena, Seattle in July of 2015, by that time, he was 7 months into chemo treatment, exhausted and pained, but he was determined to be at their last tour (R40).

John and I were drawn together by our mutual love of technology, music, camping/rving and photography, his mother had recently passed away, he was now raising his daughter alone, and we just had so much in common to talk about. He was supporting a local rock band called Sliver by providing photography and videography services, and is great friends with all the members of the band, Pete Hernandez by far.

John and I are great supporters of our local music scene and spent many nights enjoying local bands such as Rock Garden, Powerline, Wiseblood and more. One of the gigs, allowed us to spend the evening hanging out in the “green room” at The Brick in Roselyn, WA where we got to see the wall of signatures of bands that have played there.

John took me to several of his favorite places he loved to camp at; including LaWisWis, Ohanapikosh, Mt. Rainier, Mt. St. Helens, Rimrock Lake, SilverLakes Resort, Grand Coulee Dam, Kaner Flats, Squaw Rock and many others.

John has many wonderful lifelong friends, and we are truly appreciative of all the support from them over this 4+ year journey battling a deadly brain cancer called GBM. John is a fighter and lived much longer than anyone ever expected.

It’s no wonder that John’s love of life and his rescuing nature, has provided him with many great lifelong friends. He has the type of laugh and twinkle in his eye that just draws you in. His sense of humor, quick wit, and his willingness to help out a friend in need, paints John’s character as one of a kind. Though afflicted by a painful disease, he rarely let it keep him down for long.

Services

  • Memorial Service Monday, June 17, 2019

Memories

John A. Houck

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Paul Gray

June 20, 2019

john loved his video camera. he would drop everything at a drop of a hat, grab his camera and out the door headed to film a fire, or a car crash. he carried it everywhere. we went to the beach on vacation. he filmed the entire vacation from start to finish. he captured me running out to the ocean to take a swimming in the dark then i proceeded to take off my pants, stop and talk to strangers and chase the girls back to the elevators all in my underwear. there was also me hanging out the 3rd story windows at some point. of course all of this is on tape.

Paul Gray

June 20, 2019

another rescue story
i was working for a wholesale distributor and my weekly territory took me thru royal city and othello on my way to moses lake and ephrata. i used the company truck. if you have ever driven those roads you would know it is nothing but farm land and very desolate. i was stopped by a wsp for speeding. i usually drove too fast. the officer ran my license and came back to the car. mr. gray do you know why i pulled you over?? i clocked you at 85 in a 55 zone. mr gray your tabs are expired, no insurance card, mr gray you know there is a warrant for your arrest?? unpaid traffic fines. he booked me in othello jail. john came and picked my up in the local lounge, as i was released 6 hrs later. the company i worked for came and picked up their truck

Paul Gray

June 20, 2019

john came to my rescue on more than one occasion.
i went camping on blewett pass in my Volkswagen. as i was setting up camp using the car headlights somehow the engine caught on fire and my car burned to the ground. the next morning i called john at work, bi-mart. he told mgmt he was sick and had to go home. then proceeded to come and pick me up

Paul Gray

June 20, 2019

john was pretty anal when it came to his driving. probably best driver i have known. even in a empty parking lot john would always stay in the proper path. not me, i would and still do cut thru empty or slightly empty parking lots haphazardly. more than one occasion john would yell out CHAIN as if there was a security chain across the path. always causing me to slam on the breaks.

paul gray

June 20, 2019

john was always willing to help out his friends. he offered me his basement when i was struggling both professional and personally. he made me feel like part of the family. john loved riding the seadoo's. the previous picture was taken at roza and it was cold but that did not matter. we shared many seadoo trips over the years.

john was a true humanitarian

Paul Gray

June 20, 2019

JIM Taylor-Viotti when I first met John

June 18, 2019

I'm so sad to hear about John Houck we were roommates when we were 19 yrs old-had a lot of fun times together. It's an honor and a great blessing to have known John. Want to thank everyone who went to his memorial service it was a full room . Hadn't seen John in yrs so it's harder to bear not being able to say hello to him .I know he would have loved to see me again as well as me him. I remember most about him his loud laugh, his love for cats, Rush, driving his Subaru ,his love for friendship, traveling out of town, games, computers,photography , and life. Was so moved to see myself with John in 2 photos at his memorial they're great pics and if I remember right were his favorites at the time at least-1 in front of Snoqualmie falls & the other on a ferry ride to Orcas island . Wished I could have shared with John about God the Mother and the Church of God-I pray the Holy Spirit will do that now May God bless you John Houck thanks to heavenly Father & Mother for giving you to us and making our lives so much better ,love you and miss you much Amen

Beth Downs

June 17, 2019

I had the pleasure of meeting John while working with the Yakama Nation. John was always pleasant to work with and was greatly appreciated. I could always depend on him to assist and fix our technical issues. As someone else mentioned, he has been greatly missed. He is pain free now and on another journey....take care.

Rob Hewitt

June 15, 2019

I first met John through our mutual friend Pete Hernandez and right away I could see what a giving and downright great guy he was. He was an avid music lover and he supported the local music scene through his video and photography work which was very much appreciated. We shared a common love for the music of Rush. One memory I will cherish always was having the honor of helping provide live music for John and Charlena’s wedding. Good times. RIP John... you will be deeply missed by many.

Christine Messer

June 14, 2019

I wish to extend my wishes for wonderful memories of John and loving comfort for all his family and friends.

FROM THE FAMILY

Attending the Paschen Picnic, Summer 2014 - Just before cancer struck

FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
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FROM THE FAMILY
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FROM THE FAMILY

Biography

John was born at Yakima Valley Memorial hospital on April 26th, 1959 at 9:57 PM to Fred L Houck and Harel W French.

He attended grade school at Apple Valley, and graduated from West Valley High School in 1978 while working at Bi-Mart as the Automotive Manager.

John then started working with the Yakama Nation as a Computer Specialist and worked 28+ years until he became very ill in 2014.

John was married to Diana in 1982 and had one daughter Rebecca Sue Houck in November 1990. They divorced a few years later.

John then married Kim in 2000 and their divorce was final November 10, 2008.

John then met and married the love of his life, Charlena (Spaulding) on September 3, 2010.

John had many talents and was loved by many, he was the kind of person you could easily talk to, and would help out a friend in need if he could.