John R. Berthelson
John Randall Berthelson passed away on March 19, 2019, at his home in Pocatello, Idaho, with his son Ryan and wife Patty Watanabe by his side. His battle with cancer is the one battle he couldn’t win.
John was born in Salina, Kansas on August 4, 1948, to Fenton and Ruthetta (Crawford) Berthelson. After graduation from Lincoln High School, Lincoln, Kan., he enlisted in the United States Navy. He proudly served his country from 1966 to 1969 with a tour in Vietnam. Upon his return to Kansas, he attended Fort Hays State University. He was proud to be a Tiger on the university football team. After college, he went to work for the USDA. In 1979 he went to work as a locomotive engineer for the Missouri Pacific Railroad in Palestine, Texas, then to the Union Pacific Railroad. After 30 years of service, he retired from his position as a technical trainer in Houston, Texas, on August 31, 2009.
John married Patty in 2009, and after his retirement from the railroad, he joined her in Pocatello. He quickly discovered the lifestyle and beauty of the state.
John never met a stranger. He found many new friends, golfing with the “Nooners” five or six days a week. Before long he was trap shooting at the Pocatello Trap Club.
He soon became Mr. Maintenance and was meticulous about his work there. Travels to golf tournaments and trap shoots took him to Utah, Montana, Nevada, and Arizona. There were many stories that only he could tell of the steelhead fishing trips to Corn Creek.
In 2015 he bought a Harley, which led to three trips to Sturgis, where he met up with friends. He always looked forward to seeing his childhood buddy Larry Gourley.
Patty was always afraid to ride the Harley, so on March 19, Johnny B left on his final journey without her.
John is survived by his wife Patty, son Ryan, daughter Rocky, five grandchildren, three great grandchildren, sister Trudy, brothers Bob (Teresa) and Mike (Joan). He was preceded in death by his parents, brother Danny, and grandson Garrett.
A celebration of life will be held at the Pocatello Trap Club on Saturday, April 13 from 3:00 - 5:00 p.m.
In Lincoln, Kan., the VFW will do a color guard ceremony at the cemetery on Saturday, April 20 at 11:30 a.m. Lunch will follow at the VFW.
Memorials may be made to VFW Post 7928 Auxiliary, P.O. Box 123, Lincoln, KS 67455.