October 18, 1954 - July 13, 2018
11:00 a.m Thursday, August 9, 2018
St. Ignatius Catholic Church
Portland, Oregon 97206
Reception to follow.
John was a big fellow, driven by a multitude of appetites: reading, justice, compassion for people, animals (cats and bears, especially), creativity, humor, and, yes, food.
The youngest of six, he was born to Edward and Mary Ellen Jennik in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and graduated from Loyola High School in Los Angeles in 1972. He moved to Portland with fiancée Jean Shepherd in 1988. They married in February 1989 and divorced in May 2018.
After years as a commercial printer, John moved from board member of the Blanche Fischer Foundation (BFF) to become its executive director. He adhered to the core mission of the foundation, serving Oregonians with physical disabilities, and over the next 15 years also served on state and national disability organizations: the Oregon State Independent Living Council, the Oregon State Rehabilitation Commission, and the boards of the American Association of People with Disabilities and Disability Funders Network.
John, then decades sober, followed his heart once more to serve the formerly homeless individuals residing at Bud Clark Commons (BCC) in Portland’s Old Town. Declining health caused John to leave BCC.
His final years were full of reading, watching cooking shows on TV, going out to eat at new or old favorite restaurants, and nuzzling some of the countless kitties he and Jean rescued over the years.
He is survived by his former wife, Jean; numerous beloved nieces and nephew; and brother Bill. Siblings Margaret Ann, Tom, Mary Ellen predeceased him; brother Jim passed most recently.
Remembrances may be made in John’s name to the local no-kill animal shelter of one’s choice, the American Association of People with Disabilities, or the Library Foundation of Multnomah County Library.