John Thomas Sierens: Aug. 13, 1925-Jan. 25, 2018

Sierens and wife

Sierens and wife

John Thomas (Jack) Sierens was born Aug. 13, 1925 in Mount Clemens, Mich., to John and Grace Sierens. He died Jan. 25, 2018, comfortable and surrounded by love.

Jack met the “one and only” love of his life, Ila Forton, when he was just 14 years old. They married in 1944, and were devoted to one another for 52 years until Ila’s death in 1996.

Jack joined the U.S. Navy in 1942. During WWII he was an ordnanceman on PBYs, patrolling the area west of the Panama Canal, ever vigilant for Japanese submarines lurking in those dangerous waters. For the majority of his Navy career he was as an air traffic controller. Jack had many adventures on land and sea, especially while serving on USS Hancock(CV-19). He was proud of his mission during the Vietnam deployment on Yankee Station — to help returning combat aircrew find their way home. His soft and reassuring voice helped many pilots relax from their combat sortie so they could safely concentrate on their next difficult task — landing aboard the ship. Other duty stations included Naval Air Station Barbers Point, Hawaii, Naval Station Midway Island and Naval Air Station Whidbey Island, where he retired from the Navy in 1971 as a chief petty officer.

His second career was as a mail carrier for the U.S. Postal Service in the City of Oak Harbor for 15 years. He loved his walking route along Pioneer Way where he enjoyed the connection with people every day.

Jack was always an avid sports fan and above average athlete; excelling in baseball, bowling and golf. Jack played quarterback during the 1948 inaugural season of the semi-pro football team “Mount Clemens Jugs.” In his later years he enjoyed playing cards, handicapping the horses and watching movies with his son.

Jack is survived by his four children; Sherry Sharp (Bob), Vicki Fry, John (his best friend) and Jan Clay (Mike), six grandchildren, three great-grandchildren and one great-great grandson. He is also survived by his very good, life-long friend, Vera Plegue.

To our Dad: Even though you are physically gone, your spirit, your unconditional love, your wisdom, your sense of humor and great laugh will remain alive in us. We honor your strengths and forgive your weaknesses. We strive to be better human beings through what you have taught us. We will miss your presence in each of our lives.

Cremation has taken place and, as Jack wished, there will be no services at this time.

In loving memory of Jack, please consider a donation to Enso House, 6339 Wahl Rd., Freeland, WA 98249. Family and friends are encouraged to share memories and condolences at www.whid beymemorial.com

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