JOHN MICHAEL GAITHER
April 26, 1985 ~ April 29, 2011
John Michael Gaither, of Vancouver, WA, died in a tragic accident on April 29th, 2011, 3 days after his 26th birthday. He was born in Vancouver, WA to Del and Mary Gaither. Johnny graduated from Prairie High School, later attended Western Washington University, and earned his Associates Degree from Portland Community College.
John grew up working for the family construction business, and had recently proudly co-founded an asphalt maintenance company with his father.
Known by many nicknames, including John Boy,
Hodge, and Johnny Strong Heart,
John was absolutely, positively one of a kind.
He was loving without restraint, giving without bounds, and always, always, always protective, supportive, and encouraging. John found his purpose and contentment in loving people, and gave selflessly to friends, family, and strangers alike.
He was a master of impersonations, and his quick witted humor was both hilarious and uplifting. Ever a kid at heart, Johnny built great Lego masterpieces into his 26th year, as well as explosive devices, imaginative booby traps, and contraptions of all shapes and sizes. He shared a rare affinity and connection with children, and had a gentle and gracious way that drew them to him. He was a regular Peter Pan.
John's humor and zest for life were only rivaled by his sharp wit and incredible intellect. He was an avid reader and lover of history and military studies. He had a mind like a steel trap and the memory of an elephant. A kind of human encyclopedia, Johnny was our ultimate Jeopardy master. From little on, he was a natural actor and showman. He had a great, big, boisterous voice and loved singing along to Frank Sinatra and his favorite musical, Les Miserables.
Though he only had 26 years, Johnny lived life large, touching many with his loyalty, enthusiasm, and passionate and fierce spirit. The joy he brought to the lives of those blessed enough to know him cannot be expressed through words.
He will be forever loved and deeply missed.
John left behind his parents, Mom and Dad; sister, Sis; brother, Roo; an incredibly loving extended family; and the love of his life, Jessica.
A celebration of John's life will be held on Saturday, May 14th at 11:00 a.m. at New Heights Church, 7913 NE 58th Ave.
Rather than flowers, please send donations in John's name to Riverview Community Bank, which will later be donated to a Bosnian refugee nonprofit_ a cause important to John.
Please sign John's guest book at: www.columbian.com/obits.
Published in The Columbian on May 8, 2011