John William McKevitt, 71, left this world suddenly for his heavenly home on Jan. 19, 2023, in an automobile accident. He was born the younger of two boys on Sept. 26, 1951, in Portland, Oregon, to Robert Allen McKevitt Sr. and Lillian Yvonne “Tiny” Jonsrud McKevitt. John grew up in Lincoln City (Oceanlake), Oregon, where his family operated theatres from Lincoln City to Newport. When John was old enough to work in the theatres, he worked at the Lakeside Theatre (now Bijou) in Lincoln City and their drive-in theatre.
John attended elementary/junior high schools of DeLake, Taft and Oceanlake, graduating in 1969 from Taft High School. He began his college education at Oregon College of Education where he majored in art education with a music minor. He then refocused his attention to safe drinking water and pursued courses at Lane Community College and Linn-Benton Community College where he earned his Associate of Science Degree in Environmental Technology. John had a long successful career of over 40 years in freshwater technology and management, commissioning and operating surface water treatment plants. He worked for the City of Lincoln City in several water management and development capacities and as the Public Works Director. He also worked for and managed freshwater systems in Lake Oswego, Seaside, Portland Water Bureau, Coos Bay North Bend Water Board, Clackamas River Water, and also worked on a research project for Intel. John served on numerous boards and commissions, and achieved numerous certifications, as he was always looking for ways to improve water treatment. He passionately loved his work since it involved a combination of microbiology, chemistry, physics and electricity. John was an excellent teacher, instructing many seminar courses in water technology. In his early years, he even drove log truck, as his grandpa had done—and he loved it.
John was incredibly industrious from a young age, rebuilding bicycles, cars and anything else he could improve with hard work. He cleared his wooded property and, by himself, built his beautiful log home with a sauna suspended over the creek, a sand volleyball court and a very large greenhouse—all while working full time.
John’s first few years of life were in the Holmes Road neighborhood—an idyllic neighborhood where the moms would get together and create parades for all the children to participate in. After that, John grew up on the water, living in the house his father built on Devils Lake, where he participated in all sorts of water sports, including skiing and sailing. This was a favorite gathering place for everyone. John’s love of sailing his Hobie Cat led him to enter many races—where he usually ended up winning first or second place. He loved hiking, walking on the beach, and just adventuring in the outdoors with all its beauty.
Even though John did not fly airplanes, he loved them. So he and his much-loved wife Christy traveled last summer to Oshkosh, Wisconsin, for the airplane adventure of a lifetime called AirVenture where there were 10,000 planes to pique his interests for an entire week! That trip included a whirlwind of adventuring that included Craters of the Moon, Mt Rushmore, Badlands, Yellowstone, and the Tetons.
Beginning in sixth grade, John and his friends formed a band they named “The Sinisters”—“because it sounded cool”—with John playing keyboard. John would go on to play throughout his elementary, junior high, high school and college years and beyond in other bands: Union House, Bishop and Cascade Ridge Band. They even won a “Battle of the Bands” contest playing at MacArthur Court in Eugene. Two of his bandmates were like “brothers from another mother,” Scott Booth and Kenny Hughes, and they are missing their friend deeply. John’s main instruments were keyboards—especially a Hammond B3—French horn and guitar, but he could play most any instrument. He loved to sing and sang with the Central Coast Chorale and then played his French horn in the orchestra when they performed Handel’s Messiah. John also loved to dance and took dance lessons of all kinds. One of his instructors even enlisted him as her dance partner to help her teach classes!
John’s love for art included stone carving, metal sculpting, stained glass and, his favorite, water color. He loved to visit art galleries, museums and historical sites and loved to delve into the culture of whatever city or region he was exploring. He also loved photography and would see beauty everywhere he looked.
John was preceded in death by his parents, Bob and Tiny; brother Robert Allen McKevitt Jr., and his son Keith William McKevitt.
He is survived by his loving wife Christy, with whom he prayed daily;his beloved daughters, Christine Marie “Krissy” McKevitt-James and Tiana Irene McKevitt Bosma; grandsons, Jesse Adam James and Wyatt William Bosma; nieces, Jennifer Lynn McKevitt and Jill April McKevitt Perks; great niece Aja Lillian Perks; great nephew Kai Perks; and many cousins, friends and coworkers who loved John.
A celebration of life service will be held at 1 p.m. on Sat., Feb. 18, 2023 at HOPE Church, 2817 Santiam Highway SE, Albany, Oregon. Online condolences may be posted at www.fisherfuneralhome.com.
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