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John Vicklund

John Hubert Vicklund

Sunday, July 19th, 2020
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Obituary

John Hubert Vicklund passed away due to a heart attack on July 19th, 2020, while vacationing at Lake Chelan, WA. His sudden passing left countless friends and family stunned and devastated. John will be remembered for his influence in his community, in many businesses, and most of all for the kindness springing from a heart great enough to match his giant stature.

Fiercely loving those dearest to him, John was definitely a family man. He was also a proud Pacific Northwest native who enjoyed the beauty of the area immensely—especially a good view of the Olympic mountains. He took pride in his Scandinavian heritage, loved to learn, told great stories, gave legendary bear hugs, and rooted for the Huskies as a die-hard fan. Go Dawgs!

Family history caught John’s interest and he could spend endless hours tracing our genealogy. He could tell you all about his parents Hubert John Vicklund and Zelma (Moe) Vicklund who welcomed him into the world on February 20, 1946 in the Aberdeen hospital near their home in Hoquiam, WA. He could also tell many stories about the generations before them, from pioneer stories like the great grandfather who ran across a snake den, to the emigrations of families from Sweden and Norway to America and – surprise! – from Finland to Sweden long before that.

An avid reader, John became a walking encyclopedia of knowledge who shared that knowledge freely. His high regard for education was first instilled by his educator mother, continued through his formal education and never stopped. He graduated from Lincoln High School in Seattle in 1964 before continuing his studies at the University of Washington. While at the UW, John joined the Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity where he made lifelong friends during his college days and during his many years of service. He first served as general secretary (one of the “Magnificent Seven”) for all the fraternity’s chapters across the US and Canada and later as a member of the Alumni Advisory committee. His fraternity brothers quickly came to respect John and when he spoke, they listened. Perhaps his impressive height and engaging voice initially garnered respect, but more importantly they listened because he contributed valuable insight whenever he spoke.

Wise counsel became something John was known for in business as well as fraternity matters. He went on to work in human resources at ELDEC for 17 years, then for companies Hatch & Kirk, Data I/O, and Canyon Creek Cabinets before putting his knowledge and experience to use helping numerous companies through his leadership at Washington Manufacturing Services, now Impact Washington.

John served his community and business organizations his entire life. He humbly accepted awards from The United Way, Edmonds School District, Vistage, NIST, Enterprise Seattle, ELDEC, Boeing and the American Electronic Association. He was Chairman of both the Snohomish and King county Economic Development Association. John's generous personality, hearty laugh and huge smile will be remembered by all these groups.

His wife of 37 years, Shirley, first connected with John to discuss early childhood development and childcare for ELDEC employees. John had finally met his match and quickly fell in love with Shirley as well as her daughter, Kimberly. John and Shirley made their home in Edmonds and welcomed two more girls into the family.

International travel was a favorite activity for John and Shirley. Together they traveled to see family and friends in England, Sweden, France and Australia. The trip with the Tildio wine club to Italy was a highlight, as well as staying in Dubai and going up the tallest building in the world. Barbados and a cruise on the Windstar sailing ship were his favorite. The trip to the Holy lands with his North Sound Church group was a vivid learning experience. It was followed by two weeks in Greece visiting the original Olympic stadium and a week on the small Island of Paxos. He deeply enjoyed organizing all the pictures from their travels on his computer to share with others.

His other varied interests included the outdoors, sailboats, music of all kinds, good food, and good friends. He passed many of his interests on to his girls, taking them on forest hikes, picnicking at the Ballard Locks, teaching them how to sail the little boat that he had built before he could drive, introducing them to Frakie Valli and the Four Seasons as well as Vivaldi’s four seasons, and of course sharing many wonderful meals together with lots of story-telling.

He was steadfast, patient, kind, encouraging, and a great listener. He had a way of making people feel cared for and important. He was also a lot of fun, and always up for getting out to try something new. He never compromised on his values or integrity. He was a fair and honorable man, a loving husband, father, grandfather, and loyal friend.

John’s Christian faith was important to him, and he was a long-time member of University Presbyterian Church, Calvin Presbyterian Church, and most recently, a regular attendee of North Sound Church in Edmonds.

John is survived by his beloved wife Shirley and cherished girls Kimberly, Amanda, and Johanna with their husbands (who John welcomed into the family whole-heartedly … finally, some guys!) Matthew, Andrew, and Zach, and his grandchildren Theodore and Vera, who he absolutely adored.

The family knows that donations to The Nature Conservancy, the scholarship funds of Lambda Chi Fraternity, or the University of Washington Alumni Fund would honor John's life of service.
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Private Condolence
Plant a Tree in Memory of John
10 trees have been planted in memory of John Hubert Vicklund
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Charles Byrd, Elaine Powlesland

Posted at 11:06am
We are thinking of you during this difficult time.

5 trees were planted in the memory of John Vicklund

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A

Amanda Hansen Posted at 03:25pm

Thank you, Charlie & Elaine ❤️
HS

Heartfelt Sympathies

Posted at 03:16pm
John was a wonderful kind man, a great leader and one of my best friends. My heart goes out to you, Shirley, and your family. Lots of Love, Jim

3 trees were planted in the memory of John Vicklund

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A

Amanda Hansen Posted at 03:23pm

Thank you, Jim. How did you know my dad?
DU

Dr. Ummat

Posted at 12:15am
To the family of John Vicklund,
My deepest sympathies to all of you. I only recently came to know of his passing .
It was my honor to have taken care of John as his ENT specialist. He was truly unique and always commanded a presence when he entered the room.
Shirley , I can only imagine how difficult this is, Stay strong. Thinking of you . Let me know if I can help in any way.

Dr. Ummat
CL

Connie Lange

Posted at 01:21pm
My sincere condolences to John's family. John hired me as the compensation manager at ELDEC in 1993, where I met and worked with wonderful people, many of whom had also been hired by John. He left ELDEC not long afterwards, and I moved on to Starbucks in 1996, but we had recently reconnected at the funeral of Art Finlon, a former ELDEC employee. I didn't know anyone else at the service, but looked over and saw a tall man looking at the picture display and realized it was John. We had a wonderful conversation that day and it was so good to see him. His love for family was obvious; he was so proud of all of you. Connie Lange, Newcastle, WA
BM

Brian Moe

Posted at 01:32pm
John was my favorite cousin. So smart, and strong, and tall. Such a fabulous laugh! I can hear it clearly now. I really looked up to him. In my eyes, he could do no wrong.
We were in the front yard of his parent’s house on Densmore. I was probably 8, and he was about 20, John would hold my arm, and grab a leg and spin me around, sailing through the air. I could fly.
Now John can fly.
We will miss him deeply and our hearts go out to you!

 
A

Amanda Hansen Posted at 03:26pm

Thank you, Brian. Such a great memory, I can picture it!
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