John Brasch, Sportsman, Pastor, Friend John H. Brasch, 86, long time resident of Cove, Oregon, died January 29, 2004, at Grande Ronde Retirement Center from natural causes.
Born on March 11, 1917 in Farnam, Nebraska [to Charles and Edith (Grooms) Brasch]. John grew up in the middle of the Great Depression and attended Farnam schools before graduating in 1934. At Nebraska Wesleyan University, he helped lead the football team to a conference championship in 1935 during his two years of attendance. He worked in various jobs throughout the West until May of 1941, when he married Viola Waggoner in Boise. His formal education was completed in 1942 with a BA. at Northwest Nazarene College followed a year later by a Bachelors degree in Theology.
He followed a call to preach and served in various positions on the Northwest District until 1951 when he accepted the pastorate at Parkdale, Oregon, a position he was to fill for more than 30 years. In addition to pastoral duties, he was employed by Hanel Lumber company for over 20 years and worked as a machine operator and millwright. In 1983, he retired and moved to Cove where he resided until the time of his death.
John was an avid sportsman and remained remarkably active until shortly before his passing. He enjoyed the outdoors and all types of hunting. Bird, elk and especially moose hunting were his favorites and he was privileged to enjoy 12 different moose hunts along the Athabasca River in Canada. He rarely came home empty handed. Bowling also was an interest for many years but it was not until moving to the area in 1983 that he took up racquetball. John became a fixture at the Grande Ronde Athletic Club at 5:30 every morning for almost 20 years and many a younger man was humbled on the court by the old guy. A good story, a good steak and a game of racquetball were things that John loved later in life.
His sense of humor made him a valuable part of the Smokehouse Coffee Group for many years and he was rarely at a loss for words. Recently after a bleak prognosis from a cardiologist, John commented, I was a little disappointed when the guy came out with a bottle of pills for me to take, told me I had to take them the rest of my life and then only wrote me a thirty day prescription.
John is survived by his wife of 62 years, Viola, of Cove; a daughter, Judy Mack of Union; John Brasch, Jr. of Nampa, ID and Jim Brasch of La Grande; and one grandchild.
A service is planned for Thursday at 2:00 PM at Daniels Chapel of the Valley followed by internment at the Cove Cemetery. A Memorial Celebration is planned for 7:00 9:00 PM on Thursday at the Grande Ronde Athletic Club. People who knew John are invited to share their memory of him on the obituary page for Daniels Chapel of the Valley at www.danielschapel.com. Donations in Johns memory may be made to the Parkdale Church of the Nazarene, Parkdale, Oregon.
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