Gashwiler, John H. – Obituary

Halfway, Oregon

John H. Gashwiler, 92, a longtime Halfway resident, died Jan. 6, 2001, at St. Elizabeth Health Care Center.

His memorial service will be at 2 p.m. Thursday at the Halfway Presbyterian Church. Pastor Bill Shields of the United Methodist Church will officiate.

Mr. Gashwiler was born on Nov. 18, 1908, at Novinger, Mo., to Dr. J.S. and Maude Ellen Gashwiler. He attended Novinger Grade School and High School and is the next to last survivor of his 1926 graduating class of 12 students.

He attended Kirksville State Teachers College, which is now Harry S. Truman State University, where he met and later married his wife, Renelda Tollenaar. He graduated with a bachelor’s degree in 1931 and took a teaching job at the Rye Creek School in the middle of the school year.

After the Rye Creek School closed, he taught sixth- and seventh-grades at Brasher, Mo. He was laid off in 1940 after budget cuts resulted in consolidation. He then taught industrial arts at Morava, Iowa, until the war required his efforts as a producer on the family farm in early 1943.

After the war, he took a teaching job as agriculture and industrial arts instructor at Brooklin, Iowa, from January 1948 to June of 1950. In 1950, he started working for the U.S. government, providing on-the-farm instruction to the 4-F veterans around Cresco, Iowa.

When that program ended, he became the agriculture and industrial arts teacher at Guttenberg, Iowa. In 1957, the family moved to Westhope, N.D., where he taught industrial arts.

The winters were too cold, so in 1960, he moved to Halfway to teach sixth- and seventh-grades. In 1965, he worked for Idaho Power Co. on the Hells Canyon Dam until the project was completed.

After living in rented houses for most of their lives, Mr. and Mrs. Gashwiler bought a house in Halfway, and spent the next 40 years living in Pine Valley.

Mr. Gashwiler’s large workshop was open to friends and neighbors. Over the years, many boys and girls dropped in to chat a little or to work on a project, using Mr. Gashwiler’s lathes, drills and other tools.
He was always interested in education and spent many summers taking courses at various colleges and universities. For three summers, he worked as a customs inspector in Alaska.

He will be deeply missed by all who knew him.

Survivors include his wife of more than 65 years, Renelda; daughter and son-in-law, Keturah and Phil Pennington, of Portland; sons and daughters-in-law, John H. Jr. and Kathy Gashwiler of Missoula, Mont., and Sam and Laree Gashwiler of Portland; six grandchildren and three great-grandchildren, all of Missoula, Mont.

He was preceded in death by his parents, two sisters and one brother.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Halfway Ambulance Fund through Gray’s West & Co., P.O. Box 726, Baker City, Ore., 97814.

Used with permission from: The Baker City Herald, Baker City, Oregon, January 12, 2001
Transcribed by: Belva Ticknor


White, Judy Wallis. Baker County, Oregon Obituaries. Published by Copyright 1999-2013, all rights reserved.

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