News and Opinion from Sisters, Oregon

John Schibel 

October 12, 1947 - March 2, 2024

John Schibel of Sisters passed away on March 2, from Alzheimer's disease. This dreadful disease took his memory, but in the end could not destroy his essence of kindness, goodness, and generosity. He was one of a kind and he lived life with a moral compass that allowed him to see the good in almost everyone. He worked at making sure things were done correctly. He visualized, planned, and brought ideas to fruition. His travels through life compelled him to wait many years for the love of his life, Suzanne. Once he found her, he made sure she would stick around. Suzanne by any standard measurement, would be considered height-challenged, so John designed their first Sisters house with her in mind, made sure she had the correct-youth sized fishing gear, and several times had to grab her out of the water so she wouldn't float away. As true love would have it, John never wavered from his commitment to making sure she was safe and outfitted for any experience.

As John grew up in the West Hills of Portland, Oregon, he attended parochial school. By his own admission he and the nuns did not see education from the same perspective. He needed to move and be creative with hands-on activities. Since the teaching style of the day didn't include such creativity, he found ways to occupy his time much to the demise of his teachers. As he grew older and attended Sunset High School and beyond, he cultivated activities that followed his interest. He ran track, he skied, he hang glided, he flew planes, and never stopped adding to his list of passions and challenges.

His career path took a few turns throughout his journey from youth to adulthood. He ended his work-life as a marine pilot, guiding ships in the Bering Sea off the coast of Alaska. His job as marine pilot was designed with a rotating schedule. This schedule allowed Suzanne to meet him in Anchorage at their condo and head off for adventures. Their travels usually included fishing waders, numerous rods, and at times friends and family members that tagged along. Beautiful scenery, lots of fish caught, a few rough roads, an occasional float plane ride, and even a few good drinks made these adventures perfect memories.

John was a caretaker. He took care of those around him with a focus that accentuated the selflessness of his actions. He intended to give graciously with little self-recognition. He took care of his two sisters, Tessa and Jan, along with his mother, Carrie, and his granddaughter Tori. He stood by them when needed and recognized when financial, physical, or emotional support was warranted. This also applied to others of which some were his neighbors, some his close friends, and some just being fortunate enough to cross paths. 

Friends came into John's life from all walks of life. It didn't take much to be on his friend list other than being a good person. He chose well and had friends to talk planes with, friends to spend holiday dinners with, friends to wine taste with, friends to share his well-stocked tool collection with, and numerous friends in both Alaska and Maupin, the locations of their secondary homes. 

For those of us who had the good fortune to cross paths with John, we will carry the memories of his graciousness, his wicked sense of humor, his generosity and all that is embodied in a person that gave constantly and took little. We shall forever be grateful for the gift of knowing such a person and having the opportunity to spend time to create memories that will last forever. Those memories will live with us as we remember the beautiful life John lived. 

A Celebration of Life will be held at the home of Judy and Hal Brown on June 1. Please come and celebrate, share pictures, share stories and reconnect with friends, laugh, and shed a few tears. We are asking people to bring either a salad or finger food appetizer to share. Drinks and dessert will be provided. There will be music to sing along with and John's life will be shared with memorabilia and our collective memories. 

6880 NE 1st St., Redmond, 1 to 4 p.m. Come dressed for the weather.


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