John Andrew Reed III was born on July 21, 1934 in Germantown, PA. After his family broke up at age 10, he lived with relatives in Cape May County, NJ and left “home” with one bag on his last day of high school.
He was soon drafted into the U.S. Army, repairing helicopters during the Korean War. Subsequently, he worked and self-studied to become a Chief Engineer in the U.S. Merchant Marine, running mostly large cargo vessels throughout
the world, visiting over 100 countries, and living a fabled life of “high seas adventure”.
His “high seas romance” came in 1975, when, while running a cruise ship circumnavigating South America, he fell in love with one of his passengers, Jan Reich. They married the following year and moved to Woodinville, WA, where
they lived for 33 years and raised two sons: John Andrew IV “Drew” and Mark. Drew became a two-time WA State champion kickboxer and a U.S. Navy intelligence officer and security manager. Mark earned four degrees from MIT and became a nuclear engineering research scientist.
John retired young in the early 1990s and enjoyed two more decades of good health and “high mountain adventure” – exploring rivers, lakes, ghost towns, and mines in the Cascade Mountains with his sons and even alone. John and Jan moved to Yakima, WA in 2009. John stopped hiking alone at age 75 and slowly faded away with Alzheimer’s disease, remaining happy and content at home with Jan through his last day. He passed peacefully while asleep on December 27, 2018.
Raised Catholic but not active in faith during his young adulthood, John met Christ and was baptized in the 1980s. John and Jan attended First Baptist Church in Bothell, WA and West Side Church in Yakima.
John is an example of how someone raised in a dysfunctional environment with meager resources can rise up to have a great family and career. The circumstances of your birth need not define your life.
John is survived by his wife Jan, sisters Betty Bigalbal and Pat Camacho, sons John Andrew IV “Drew” (Sarah) and Mark, and grandchildren John Andrew V and Hannah.