John Boyden Rumsey passed away at his home on April 2, 2013, from sudden heart attack. His loving wife, Sharon, was by his side.
John was the fourth child born to Marisa Caldwel and Frank Rumsey on June 4, 1961, in Tucson, Ariz. His parents divorced when he was three and Marisa moved her children to Monterey Bay, Calif.
“My dad loved this place and took me and my brothers there a couple of times when we were younger,” recalls his daughter Kaylee.
Here John and his two brothers, Glen and Scott, along with their older sister, Patty, found living next to the ocean a place to explore, fish, and seek out the adventures that only young children can imagine.
“My brothers and I spent a great deal of time at the beach or at the wharf in Monterey where we would fish,” recalls Patty. “I remember a few times that I had to pull John out of the ocean after falling of the wharf.”
A new ocean with new experiences came when he was 5 and his mother and stepfather moved the family to the Philippine Islands. One year later he found himself in Fresno, Calif. There was a swimming pool at this house and John and the family spent a great deal of time in it.
Another move put him back in Monterey Bay where he would attend grade school, middle school, and his first year of high school. From there an adventure took place.
“My mom, John, and I took a 1967 Ranchero and drove through California, Oregon, Washington, Idaho and Montana, living out of the car, camping and fishing every day in search of a new place to live,” tells Scott.
John, Scott, and Glen left Monterey behind with their mother and lived in Central Point, Ore., for one year, then off to Hood River, Ore., which he would call home for quite some time. He was a junior at Hood River Valley High School and would graduate from there the following year. In 1981, John’s father also died from heart complications.
An important father figure, Don Graves began to groom John at this time. He landed a job at the Heights Chevron in 1976, owned by Don, where he would work for the next 17 years. Don and John became very close during their time together and John would often tell his family how much he cared for him. The Chevron folded in 1993 and John found a money making opportunity in restoring old Ford parts he found at swap meets.
John met his first wife, Angela Rhodes, while working for Don and married on Aug. 11, 1984. They had three children, Jon (Little Jon), Nic and Kaylee. They would remain married until 1998.
“My fondest memory of my dad was when I was just a little girl and he would read to me every night,” says Kaylee. “My favorite story was Whinny the Pooh. It wasn’t the story that I loved so much, it was the silly voices my dad would use for the characters.”
Little Jon states, “The times my dad and I played basketball together while growing up will never be forgotten.”
Nic often accompanied his dad to those swap meets and stated, “Traveling with my dad in our RV going to so many different swap meets were some of the best times I had with him.”
John began to look for a new source of income in 1997; not by his choice. He went to John Taylor’s automotive in Hood River, meet with Mr. Taylor, and a funny story unfolded that I hope is shared by Mr. Taylor at John’s service.
A life-saving change also happened while the two Johns worked together; John found Christ. Thus began a new journey that would take our brother, friend, husband and father into an incredible next step in his life. John worked for Mr. Taylor until April of 2006 and during that time, in 2002 he found his future wife, Sharon. John was in love, and I mean in LOVE. They were married in 2002.
“I moved to Mosier from a large city,” tells Sharon. “I was a big city girl and no McDonald's? Are you kidding me?” she asked John. And then the radio stations; where were they?
Sharon had three children of her own, Jacquelyn, Britney and Michael, that would make the move to Oregon with her.
“John became more than a stepdad,” tells Jacquelyn. “He was firm, had rules and he loved us and treated us like we were his own children. He became our dad and we never looked at him differently.”
John and Sharon moved to The Dalles in 2007 where John found employment with Precision Automotive. He worked there for just one year when he and Sharon decided to open their own automotive shop.
Johnny’s Automotive has been in operation for five years and the vast line of satisfied customers is a true testament to John. John’s integrity, his kindness, and his willingness to help anybody that deserves to be helped became a motto.
John and Sharon lived through Christ and were and are blessed with lifelong friendships found at Sheppard of the Valley Church, The Dalles Evangelical Church, and Church of the Nazarene.
We will all miss you John, we will never forget you, and we will always, always love you. Services were held Sunday, April 7, at Shepherd of the Valley Church in Hood River, with Spencer, Libby and Powell in charge of arrangements.
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