John Doss Vandeburg, son of Doss and Elizabeth Vandeburg of White Salmon, died on July 29, 2000 at the age of 24. John and a friend, Lisa McDonald, who was also in training, were waiting for a cab in front of a Howard Johnsons following an evening in Chester, Virginia with a group from the base. They were approached by five individuals. Her purse was taken and John was shot in the chest. Although two sheriff deputies responded to the shooting within minutes, there was nothing they could do. All five have been apprehended.

John was serving in the U. S. Marine Corp Reserves and at the time of his death was temporarily stationed at Fort Lee, Virginia while waiting to complete his training. John was extremely proud to be a Marine and had achieved the rank of Lance Corporal. He had planned to pursue an education in law enforcement and a career with the California Highway Patrol.

John was born in Delta, Colorado on July 9, 1976. He moved with his parents to White Salmon in 1988 when his father took a position at Mt. Adams Orchards. John attended school in White Salmon and Trout Lake and graduated from Trout Lake High School in 1994. He played football in White Salmon and was on the track, cross country, basketball and volleyball teams in Trout Lake. For his senior project he and a friend painted a mural of Mt. Adams that permanently hangs in the high school student lounge in the front hall of the Trout Lake School.

John spent four years serving the Lord in Christian Youth in Action. He taught Vacation Bible Schools throughout the Columbia Gorge and spent eight weeks in Alaska as a Summer Missionary. He attended Cascade Christian College for 1 ½ years where he came to be known as "Calvin" because of his fondness for "Calvin & Hobbs" cartoons. It was there that he met his wife, Rachel, whom he loved dearly. They were married on March 30, 1996 and made their home in Hughson, CA near where Rachel grew up. Their lives were blessed with the addition of a daughter, Reagan, age 3, a son, Ripley, age 2 and yes,…a dog named Hobbs.

John is also survived by his parents, his brother Paul, his sisters Julie and Debbie, his grandparents Richard and Loraine Eksund of New Mexico, and a large extended family of aunts, uncles, and cousins.

John loved being a father and a husband and took great pride in his family. John and Rachel were members of the Hughson Church of Christ and John enjoyed working with his friends and neighbors at the church. He loved the Lord, and he joins his grandparents Ella Mae and Crosby Vandeburg, great grandparents John and Ethel Carter and his aunt and uncle Bernice and Johnny Hare in the presence of the Lord.

His funeral was held August 5th, at the Hughson Church of Christ in Hughson, California, where John and Rachel are members. He was buried in the Turlock Cemetary in Turlock, California. A Memorial was also held in Fort Lee, Virginia on Aug. 8th.

John was greatly loved by his family and friends. He was well-liked and respected by co-workers, his fellow Marines, church members, and many others who knew him. His sense of humor, his compassion for others, and his willingness to go the extra mile left an impression on those around him.  He will be missed. Semper Fi, John.





©Tom Sierak

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