John Roger Dierck passed away from brain cancer in the home he built on Case Inlet near Vaughn June 17. His family kept him company as he left this pale blue dot and joined the stars.
John was born to Rose (LeBlanc) and Roger Dierck in Fairbanks, Alaska, on Christmas Day in 1952. The young family traveled back home in their ’47 Ford sedan over muddy Canadian roads. They settled in South Tacoma and had five more children.
Growing up, John developed patience, an attention to detail, and a dedication to craft. John poured these skills into everything from carpentry to playing horseshoes to making pizza. An artist, his house was a gallery for his photo-realistic oil pastels. He was a voracious reader and unwavering fan of the Seattle Mariners.
John graduated from Bellarmine Preparatory in 1971. He worked for 35 years as an electrician at the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard in Bremerton.
John met Kathryn (Jane) Bellona on a blind date. Two years later, the best friends were married. They moved with their 6-month-old baby Sara to the Key Peninsula, and Casey was born two years later.
In retirement, John’s passions continued to thrive. He planted grapes and hops, restored not one but two ’52 Chevy pickups, and kept a long-running horseshoe game with his brother-in-law and fellow beer lover, Larry Bellona. And he acquired The Reliance, a vintage wooden tugboat, built in 1909. After an adventurous first trip from La Conner to Vaughn in stormy weather with Casey, John spent the rest of his life lovingly tending to the boat. He participated in Olympic Harbor Days, once winning the legendary tugboat race, but mostly delighted in providing dockside tours and taking family and friends for rides.
John’s spirit lives on with his wife, daughter, son and two grandchildren.
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