Serving Whitman County since 1877

John Heitstuman

March 13, 1955 - March 11, 2024

John Heitstuman, 68, of St. John, Wash., passed away at his home on March 11, 2024.

He was born March 13, 1955, to Gene and Betty Heitstuman, on the family's farm in Uniontown, Wash. John attended St. Boniface Catholic Grade school from 1961-1969. He then attended Colton High School, graduating in 1973. He was an active FFA member and enjoyed wood shop.

After graduating, he began ranching for his Uncle, Harold Heitstuman. Based on his numerous stories, some of the best days of his life were spent in the saddle. He worked along side his uncle and cousins on the ranch where they raised cattle and hay. This was a large operation including BLM, state and Potlatch leases, totaling more than 85,000 acres. They ran well over 3,000 head of cows, calves, yearlings and bulls each year. John had a true love for the western lifestyle, including a lifelong attachment to his horses and dogs.

In 1984, John's parents moved their trucking business from Uniontown to St. John, Wash. John took a break from ranching to help his dad with his trucking business. During this time, John met the one who completes him, Julie Blumenshein, and they married on March 15, 1986. In addition to two step-kids, Chad and Gil Pierce, John and Julie welcomed two more children. Jodi was born in 1988, and Jason in 1992. John and Julie were active members of the St. John Saddle Club and the family enjoyed trail riding and camping trips in the mountains. Julie passed away in April of 1997 from complications of cancer and pneumonia.

John was a devoted parent to Jodi Sharp (Heitstuman) and Jason Heitstuman, and a cherished grandparent to Chase, grandbaby number 4 due in July, Henry, and Hadley. One of John's greatest passions were his children and they will forever remember his devotion as a father. He took pleasure in witnessing Jodi develop a deep-rooted love for horses and Jason achieve success in trapshooting.

John's family will remember him for his stories of his wife and his time spent working on the Heitstuman Ranch. He is survived by his children: Jodi (Brady) Sharp, Jason (Devin) Heitstuman; stepchildren, Gil (Sarah) Pierce and Chad (Ursela) Pierce; sister Jeanne Buell; three grandchildren (one more grandchild due in July); and many nieces and nephews.

While we mourn our dad's passing, we take comfort in knowing that he is reunited with the love of his life, where they will watch over us together. There was so much more to him than just dad, though to us that was his greatest roll. He will be dearly missed but his memories will live with us forever. He was preceded in death by his wife, Julie Heitstuman, in 1997; parents, Gene and Betty Heitstuman; and other family and friends.

There will be a celebration of life on Saturday, April 13, at 1 p.m., at the St. John Community Building. We will be having a potluck meal, so your contribution will be greatly appreciated.


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