John Alsip III

John Franklin Alsip III, a beloved husband, brother, father, grandfather and friend, passed away on March 4 in Santa Fe, New Mexico at the age of 86. He was surrounded by family and a medical staff overcome by his kind and radiant smile.

John was born in Tacoma, Washington and moved to Idaho at age seven.The state’s rugged landscape was where John first fell in love with the outdoors, hunting for fossils, earning his Eagle Scout badge, and snowshoeing in to the family’s beloved cabin at Karney Lakes.

Graduating from Nampa High in 1955, he headed to Whitman College where he earned a degree in Economics. He co-captained the football team and was a respected member of Phi DeltaTheta. Always looking for adventure, John climbed Mt. Hood on New Year’s Eve and was even forced to overnight in a snow cave on Mt. Adams. Graduating in 1959 John remained an active Whitman alum and served on the Board of Overseers.

John’s love of the outdoors dovetailed with agriculture. At graduation, he received a plot of land near the Snake River that he and his father helped grow into the Hat Butte Land Company – a highly productive farm that John would oversee remotely for fifty years. John’s day job was in agriculture as well. He spent two decades at General Mills, worked as Sr. Vice President at Northrup King and eventually became CEO of Rahr Malting in Minneapolis.

At home in Minnesota, John was a kind and offbeat father, teaching his children everything from skiing and canoeing to how to prevent squirrels from getting at your bird feeder. He then retired to Santa Fe and Whidbey Island with Catherine (Kay), his wife of nearly sixty years.They were the perfect pair- she bringing him to social events and he bringing her on desert drives to search for the rusted metal and driftwood he would use to create his art – sculptures that can still be found in private and public spaces including the red shed in front of the Star Store in Langley.

But as good as his art got, John never asked for money or expected his work to last. Build it, share it, then let nature reassemble it into something new. John would be pleased to know that his own energy is now being repurposed for something equally wonderful in the universe.

John was preceded in death by his parents, Priscilla and John Franklin Alsip Jr. He is survived by his wife Catherine, his sister Priscilla and brother Bruce, his children Gretchen (Ron) and Neil (Laura), and his grandchildren Lucy, Kate and Thomas.

Donations may be made toThe Food Depot in Santa Fe, New Mexico.