John Backstrand

Obituary of John Allen Backstrand

John Allen Backstrand died on May 23, 2023 in The Dalles, Oregon.

John was born in Portland, Oregon on June 8, 1935. John grew up primarily in the Portland area but he also spent time in Michigan. By all accounts, John was adventurous during his younger years and developed a lifelong interest in cycling and cars.

John joined the US Air Force in 1952. While stationed at Keesler AFB in Buloxi, MS, John met his future wife, Bobbi. They were married in 1953 and were married for 66 years until Bobbi's passing in 2019. John and Bobbi and their children Shirley, Karen and Karl, traveled extensively while John was in the Air Force. John's two tours of duty in England allowed for many camping trips throughout the British Isles and Europe. The time spent in England during the 1960's had a lasting, positive impact on John's life and his family.

After retirement from the Air Force in 1972, John and Bobbi lived in the hill county of Texas, north of San Antonio. John became an instructor pilot and taught flight instruction for the US Air Force and for the Southwest Texas Junior College. In 1976 John and Bobbi moved back to Oregon to be closer to family, living at the Coast, Portland and in the Columbia River Gorge area. After moving back to Portland, John decided to continue with his education, earning a Doctorial degree in Urban Studies in 1991 from Portland State University. John and Bobbi eventually moved to The Dalles, Oregon which became their permanent home. All during this time, John pursued his interest in cars and participated in variety of car related events. John also continued cycling and rode in many Cycle Oregon bicycling events well into his 70's.

John is survived by his children Karen and Karl, his daughter-in-law Susy, 4 grand children and three great-grand children. John was preceded in death by his wife Bobbi and daughter Shirley and two brothers Robert and Donald. John had a passion for life and he had a keen interest in a wide variety of pursuits. He will be greatly missed by his family and friends.

The family requests that donations be made to The Shriner’s Hospital for Children in lieu of flowers. John is at rest at Willamette National Cemetery

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