In Memory

John I Wellman

John I Wellman

John died at the VA Hospital in Seattle on February 8, 1991.  The VA was John's "home away from home" for over 10 years, where they treated him for the deadly after effects of sarin gas exposure incurred while he served in the Navy in Vietnam. 
 
John entered the Navy about a year after his graduation from high school.  I think John really enjoyed Navy life - he certainly enjoyed the camaraderie among his fellow sailors - and would frequently retell his "adventures" in the Phillipines, Japan and Vietnam in a humorous way.  I guess falling into a binjo ditch while attired in dress whites isn't a good thing, especially when you have to formally report for duty upon your return to the ship.
 
John married his high school sweetheart, Ginny, in 1966.  They lived in San Diego until John's tour of duty was over in 1968, then returned to Pasco.  John's son, Darren, was born in Feburary, 1969, and Darren still lives in the Tri-Cities (Kennewick).  John was hired by the Burlington Northern Railroad Company as a Fireman, and worked there until he was diagnosed with MS (it was really the first sign of the neural disorder caused by his exposure in Vietnam).  John's health rapidly deteriorated thereafter, but he always maintained a cheerful, accepting and hopeful attitude.  For that he was blessed, and he blessed us.
 
Growing up, John and I were often at odds because of our very different personalities, but the one thing I remember most was that John could always make me laugh - at circumstances, at myself, with him.  Life was never dull when John was around, that's for sure.  I miss my brother - I always will.
 
Linda Wellman Mathisen



 
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11/30/11 07:13 PM #1    

Ernest "Mike" Huber

John and I were neighbors and grew up together.  His mom was my Cub Scout den mother and we went to the same church.  I last visited with him in a Pasco nursing facility.  He had a CB by his bed and loved talking with the truckers.  He was incredibly upbeat then, which humbled me.  Fair winds and following seas, shipmate.  The crew is dimished significantly by your passing. 


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