In Loving Memory of John Vangorkom: 1959-2021

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Lifetime Chehalis resident John Vangorkom (Little John) passed away peacefully on Sept. 27, 2021, at his home with his dog Sunny by his side. John was born on July 1, 1959, to John (Big John) and Marilyn Vangorkom. Prior to Little John’s birth, they lost two twin sisters at birth in 1956. John attended Chehalis schools, graduating from W.F. West. 

John began his working career at Chehalis Fullers. After 13 years with Fullers, he followed in his father's footsteps and a new career driving trucks. Truck driving was truly in his DNA. He recently shared how much it meant to him to look in his rearview mirror and see Big John trailing right behind him going down the highway. For many years his dog, Buster, rode shotgun everyday with John. They went everywhere together. During his driving career he worked for Donnie Steele Trucking, Ernie Cook Truckings and Bucks Logging. 

John had a love of trucks, classic cars, fast cars, and the many friends he made attending car shows. John was extremely proud of his bright red 1967 Chevy Nova that he displayed at car shows and raced. 

Later in life, John connected with the twin sisters he never had, Terri Brush (Bazinet) and Traci Bazinet. Their families welcomed and treated him like an uncle. They took great care of him. They truly blessed him. 

In addition to his adoptive twin sisters, John had a long list of close lifelong friends that are too numerous to list. 

When his health became challenging this past summer, he was in awe of the support so many provided to him. He was truly humbled. 

In addition to his friends, he is survived by cousins Toni Arritola, Cindy Gaudern, Jeff Mason, Mark Mason and Craig Mason. 

There will be a gathering at Dicks Brewing Company on Saturday, Oct. 16, 2021, starting at 4 p.m. Please bring old photos of John and stories to share. 

John and the remains of his loving dogs will be placed in an urn together at a later date. 

Anyone wishing to make a donation in his honor is asked to consider the Chehalis Animal Shelter. 

On July 1, 2022, (his birthday) there will be a car show get-together to honor and enjoy his love of cars and friends.

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