Feb. 14, 1936 – May 17, 2019
A chapel funeral service to celebrate the life of John Velure, 83, of Redding, Calif., formerly of North Bend, will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, June 1, at the North Bend Chapel, 2014 McPherson Ave., in North Bend. A private entombment will follow at Sunset Memorial Park Mausoleum in Coos Bay. A public visitation will be held from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday, May 31 at the chapel.
John passed away May 17, 2019 in Redding, Calif. John was always a proud “North Bender” even though he spent his later years in California. John was born at Keizer Hospital in North Bend on Valentines Day in 1936 (five months before the Coos Bay Bridge was opened). His parents were John and Esther Velure.
John graduated from North Bend High School, Class of 1954. He was active in the band program playing alto horn. In 1957 John and his high school sweetheart Carolyn Walker were married in North Bend. They had two wonderful children, Johny and Sheryl. Johny preceded his father in death.
John’s father passed away when he was just 12 years old. He started working for Sprouse Reitz variety store chain at the age of 14 to help support the family. This led to a more than 50-year career in the retail business with only a brief hiatus for the Army National Guard duty (the Army insisted on calling him by his actual first name Sylvester). John was a store manager for Sprouse in Seattle, Wash., North Bend and Coos Bay. Subsequently he was named district manager in Northern California and a regional manager for much of the West Coast. John left Sprouse in 1994 and opened his own stores in Weaverville and Burney, Calif., under the Ben Franklin name. After several successful years he sold the stores and retired. John became bored in retirement and Carolyn told him to “go get a job.” John obeyed and found a job with Enterprise Rental Cars repositioning vehicles in Northern California. He met a bunch of other bored retired guys becoming good friends , enjoying coffee breaks, dinners, birthdays and the like. Even though John lived in Portland and California for many years he still maintained his membership in the Coos Bay Elks Lodge. He and Carolyn attended all of their Bulldog class reunions and will sadly miss their 65th this year.
John developed the friendship of many people in the retail business in Redding and throughout the West Coast. He enjoyed the merchandise shows where old friends could meet and share stories. He enjoyed cruises with his family (particularly introducing his grandsons to the adventure of travel). John was a season ticket holder to Oregon Duck football games for many years. He often traveled to bowl games and enjoyed taking his grandsons to Duck games at Cal State and Stanford.
John is survived by his wife, Carolyn Velure; and daughter, Sheryl Harris and her husband, Dan. John was specially proud of his three grandsons, Michael, Douglas and John Harris. John also is survived by his brothers, Gary Roethler of Tacoma, Wash., and Lyle Velure of Eugene; brother-in-law, Wayne Walker of Coos Bay; and many extended family members.
The family requests that memorial contributions be made in John’s name to the North Bend High School Band c/o North Bend High School, 2323 Pacific Ave., North Bend, OR 97459.
Arrangements are under the care of North Bend Chapel, 541-756-0440.