John Ralph Opheim : August 24, 1943 – October 14, 2021

John Opheim obituary photo

John Opheim passed away peacefully on October 14, 2021. He was born on August 24, 1943 in Aberdeen, WA to Douglas and Veva Opheim. John grew up in southern California and after graduating from high school he entered the U.S. Air Force. He served in Korea as a MP guard dog handler. After discharge, he attended community college and later graduated from Long Beach State University.

John moved to Seattle, WA in 1971 and continued working for Sears as a service technician for 30 years before retiring. He met his wife Judith in the Seattle Mountaineers where he volunteered as an instructor and hike leader. He was a member of St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church and the Knights of Columbus.

Having two sons, Douglas and John Paul, they both became active in the Boy Scouts where John served as an assistant cub master and scoutmaster, merit badge counselor, and summer camp leader in Pack and Troop 121, chartered by St. John Church. He received the Aurora District Award of Merit for his service in the district and completed Wood Badge leader training. John continued with the troop until he retired and moved to Oak Harbor. He became an assistant scoutmaster, merit badge counselor and committee member of Troop 59. He loved going to summer camp and the scouts fondly called him “Grandpa” behind his back.

John enjoyed the outdoors and was a 2007 Beach Watcher graduate and volunteered at Deception Pass. He was a member of the Whidbey Audubon Society and the Skagit Audubon Hiking group. John loved visiting the National parks and camping, hiking and backpacking with his sons and scouts.

John is survived by his wife Judith and sons Douglas of Kirkland, WA and John Paul of Oak Harbor. A Memorial Mass will be celebrated at St. Augustine Catholic Church in Oak Harbor on Friday, Nov. 12, at 10:00 AM. There will be a reception following at the Knights of Columbus Hall.

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