Whitman County Gazette - Serving Whitman County since 1877

John E. Love

November 11, 1933 - September 17, 2021


September 23, 2021

With saddened hearts, the John E. Love family says goodbye to their beloved husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather, John Edward Love – a man who exemplified kindness, faithfulness, compassion, integrity and righteousness. On September 17, 2021, John was called home by his savior, Jesus Christ at the age of 88.

John was born November 11, 1933, in Vaughn, Wash. At the age of three he was placed in the Spokane Children's Home and at the age of six was adopted by Stella and James Love of Garfield, Wash. Looking back, John said he had been "off and on living with the Indians" on the coast and then lived in an orphanage where he said he had more fun than a kid should be allowed to have. John graduated from Garfield high school in 1950 and went on to Whitworth College and served in the U.S. Navy Reserves as a Petty Officer aviation machinist's mate. Upon graduation he received his commission as an officer and earning a BA in Business Administration and Economics with a minor in Physics and Speech. During his years at Whitworth, he met and married the love of his life, Susan Ann Oliver Love in 1954. John was a fun-filled, energetic, caring, giving man and devoted husband. Within their 67 years of marriage, they built their family home and raised four children, James, Keith, and twins Jerry and Julia. With John at the helm, this family of six have many fond memories of summer vacations and ski trips together. In the Navy John was active in anti-submarine engineering and as a weapons officer. He served with the NATO forces in Europe and managed to be between wars. Commodore John E. Love was promoted to Rear Admiral at the Naval Reserve Readiness Command Region 22 on September 29, 1984, where he was responsible for the training and administration of more than 4,300 Naval Reservists at eighteen training sites in Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana and Alaska. His last command was Reserve Duty Commander of Naval Surf Pac Forces and after 38 years of active and reserve duty service John retired in 1988 and rejoined the family business manufacturing agricultural and forestry equipment.

As president of J.E. Love Co., with plants located in Garfield, Mississippi and Minnesota, John was very active in the community and surrounding area serving on many boards in many capacities. From 1980-1981 he was President of the Inland Empire World Trade Club; in 1982 he served as Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Washington state International Trade Fair and was Chairman for Eastern Washington University foundation from 1982-1984. John also served on the Community Colleges of Spokane as their Foundation Director from 1982-1991. He was on the Board of Directors for the Bank of Whitman, the Board of Directors for Metriguard, Inc., the Chairman for the Farm Industrial Equipment Institute in Chicago, and is a past member of the Garfield School District Board. From 1987-2017 John served as Chairman of the Board for Saturna Capitol and in 1995 he was elected Commissioner to the Port of Whitman County retiring in July 2020.

John was easy to talk with, an avid reader, he loved native American art. He enjoyed working with his hands and loved the outdoors and fishing with all its glory, peace and wonder. John was raised and involved in church as a devoted Christian following God's Word in his life. He was the Scoutmaster for Garfield Troop 577 and attended the 12th World Jamboree of Scouting at Farragut State Park in 1967 with his scouts as well as the 13th World Jamboree of Scouting at Asagiri, Japan with five scouts in 1971. In February 1979, John then Chairman of the Mount Steptoe District, was awarded the Silver Beaver citation for being involved in scouting for more than thirty years. This coveted award is the highest that the Inland Empire Council of Boy Scouts of American can bestow on a volunteer.

John E. Love

John E. Love

John is survived by his wife Susan, three sons, James, Keith and Jerry and daughter Julia; daughter-in-law's Laura Love and Kim Love; five grandchildren, Ryan Love, Patrick Love, Brendan Love, Mandi Love-Keen, Jacob Love and Kevin Love; ten great grandchildren along with aunts, uncles, cousins, and many nieces and nephews and countless dear friends. John is preceded in death by his adoptive parents James and Stella Love and his sister Thelma Woolford.

John's Celebration of Life and Memorial will be held on Saturday, September 25, 2021, at 1 p.m. at Garfield Middle/Elementary School, 810 N. 3rd, Garfield, WA 99130. In lieu of flowers a memorial donation can be made in John's name to Samaritan's Purse, Franklin Graham, PO Box 3000, Boone, NC 28607. https://samaritanspurse.org/ Dessert reception follow the service.

Kramer Funeral Home is caring for the family. You are invited to leave online condolences for the family at http://www.kramercares.com


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