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Resch, John Francis

reschOctober 1, 2020

John Francis Resch Jr., 82, a longtime resident of the Portland community passed away on October 12, 2020 at the Providence St. Vincent Hospital. 

John was born on February 23, 1938 in Tacoma, Washington. He was the second of four children born to John Sr. and Doris (Hemmingsen) Resch. He was raised in Port Angeles, Washington and graduated high school from St. Thomas the Apostle Seminary in Kenmore, Washington with the Class of 1956. He continued his education at St. Thomas receiving his bachelor’s degree in Philosophy and eventually his master’s degree in Theology. 

John was ordained a Catholic priest on May 23, 1964. He was assigned to Holy Family parish, in West Seattle. After a few years of serving as a parish priest, John felt the call of duty to serve his country. He received permission from the Archbishop of Seattle and accepted a commission as a Captain in the United States Army. He was assigned the 101st Airborne Division as a Chaplain in 1967. He completed jump school at Fort Benning, Georgia, and was deployed to Vietnam in 1968. He returned to the states and was honorably discharged in July 1969.

John met his future wife, Sherrill Ann Barbier at Holy Family parish. After 5 years of friendship – which continued long distance during his time in Vietnam – John left the active priesthood and they were united in marriage on July 9th, 1969 in Astoria, Oregon. Following their marriage, they made their home in San Francisco, California where they started their family. Timothy was born in July 1970, Edward followed in March 1974. John worked as an insurance and risk manager for Buttes Gas & Oil Company in Oakland, California. In 1978 the family moved to Portland, Oregon. He joined NERCO, Inc., where he served as the company’s insurance and risk manager until his retirement in 1993.

John loved sports. From playing golf, to watching Nascar and IndyCar races, attending Game 7 of the 1973 World Series in Oakland, watching the Seahawks on TV and being a season ticket holder in the early 1970s for the San Francisco Forty Niners, he was an avid sports fan. He also enjoyed traveling. Whether trips were close to home at the Oregon Coast, or as far as Bermuda, London, Paris, Rome, and Sydney, Australia. He was excellent at grilling and gardening and enjoyed growing pumpkins for his grandkids. John was fortunate to retire early, and spent many hours doting on his grandchildren, sharing with them the finer points of gardening and yardwork. John was active in the recovery community for over 34 years.

He is preceded in death by his parents and his brothers; John Robert Resch and James Resch.

He is survived by his wife Sherrill, his two sons; Timothy Resch and Dr. Pepita Payne of Portland, Edward and Dr. Allyn Resch of Portland and Jackson, Mississippi, five grandchildren; Gunnar, Trennen, Stella, Zach, and Alex, his brother; Michael Resch of Lincoln, Nebraska, and many cousins, nieces and nephews.

The family asks that any donations in John’s memory be made to the Alzheimer’s Association.

John joined CORPUS in 1975.