August 27, 1900 – February 29, 2004

103 years, 6 months and 2 days

You are joined with your Beloved wife, Bernice,

In a leap year which gave us an extra day with you.

Now take her by the hand, fill your dance card with her name,

And dance with her forever.

You were always giving kindness.

Never stopping to judge a man or a woman.

Open to each new experience with fresh eyes.

Teaching the world Brotherly Love in your acceptance of all.

Lending yourself to the child in each of us with your Winnie the Pooh innocence of heart.

Respecting people for their goodness and honest work.

Being tender, caring, steady and hardworking so as to earn your sleep at the end of the day.

Patient and lenient, fair and forgiving. Stable and stalwart, laughing and tearful.

You reminded us to ‘use our heads,’ to wake up in the morning and ‘work our day’s work out,’ to not hold jealousy

or anger in our hearts. You may have not seen the 9


grade, but you never once stopped seeking to learn life’s lessons and sharing them with others.

Beauty did not escape your sight: a landscape, a lady, an act of good deed, a well-oiled

machine, a nice suit, an infant, an animal, a planet, a star, an opportunity to give and to teach and to learn and receive.

Your life was a painting: a tableau of seasonal rebirth and death.

You palette was the rich earth itself.

Your paint: the unplanted seed.

Your brushes: your two agile hands.

Your religion was Brotherhood.

Your place of worship, the Masonic Temple.

Your spiritual grounds were the asparagus farm, the task at hand, the garden you tend, and

the person before you in the moment.

You loved to travel and visit with family, and you equally received us all in your home with opened arms. You appreciated a good, balanced meal with your black coffee, and a bowl of vanilla ice-cream to top it all off.

You maintained your independence by your willfulness. Not wanting to burden anyone by your need. Always saying ‘Thank you,’ recognizing when people went out of their way to return a kindness. Being ever gracious.

Your serenity was balanced by being happy within your own thought and sharing companionship in every way. Solitaire, the game you loved to play: turning over a card, to see what it was, and looking to see where it would fit into the whole picture before you. Playing, clearing the table, reshuffling, dealing again anew. Endless contemplation. Myriad possible outcomes. Always eager to see what was next. Patient to accept the hand. Such was your life.

Everyone who met you has felt your love: “An extraordinary man.” “A good man.” “A fair leader.” “ A true companion.” “A wonderful asparagus farmer.” “A loving father.” “The best Grandpa.” “My sign of courage.”

You are father to Brian and Carole and Bill, Carole's husband. Your are Grandpa to Jon and Nicole, and Eva, Jon’s wife.

You are Great-Grandpa to Meghan and Emily. You are Uncle, Great-Uncle and Great-Great Uncle to a family line of more than 400 in America and Germany. You are friend to countless the world-over in how you ‘live and let live.’

One of your wishes, before you closed your eyes for the last time, was ‘to get better so you could help others’.

You have blown the candles out. We will fulfill your wish by keeping your light shining strong in our deeds. Though we speak of you in the past tense your legacy will always live in the present with us. As you said so many times: “I’ve had a wonderful life.” You will be remembered and loved for always. Let us carry you to the dance hall, you sweet, sweet man.

Viewing and visitation will be held Wednesday, March 3, 2004, from 3 to 8 p.m. at Smith Funeral Home, Sunnyside. Funeral services at Smith Funeral Home, Sunnyside, 10 a.m., Thursday, March 4. Burial to follow at Lower Valley Memorial Garden. Gathering in remembrance at the Masonic Temple, Sunnyside. Memorials may be made to the Shriner’s Hospital and the Orthopedic Guild.


John Mark Lansford, 47, of Mabton went to be in the arms of his Savior, Wednesday, Feb. 25, 2004, in Yakima.

John Mark was born Aug. 7, 1956 in Waco, Texas, the son of Mary (Adams) and John Douglas O’Bryant. John Mark received his early education in Waco before moving to Richland in 1980. John Mark received his Associate degree in auto mechanics from Columbia Basin College. On April 18, 1998 he married Diane Marshall in Mabton. John Mark was a missionary for the First Love Ministries in Mabton, and was currently employed by Community Living and Adult Care in Sunnyside.

John Mark enjoyed spending time in the out of doors with his dogs, working on cars, reading his Bible and talking with people. John Mark had an out going personality and made friends easy.

John Mark is survived by his wife, Diane Lansford of Mabton; step-son, Levi Johnson of Kirkland; his mother, Mary Sawyer of Richland; and one sister, Marcia Pringle, of Richland. He is also survived by his grandmother, Bessis Adams of Waco; one aunt; and two nieces.

John Mark was preceded in death by his grandfather, William Adams.

Viewing and visitation will be held Friday, March 5, 2004, from 1 to 8 p.m. with an evening service at 6:30 p.m. at Smith Funeral Home, Sunnyside. Graveside funeral services will be held Saturday, March 6, 2004, at 1 p.m. at Cleveland Cemetery in Cleveland, Bickleton area. Smith Funeral Home, Sunnyside, is in charge of arrangements. Those wishing to honor his memory may contribute to the First Love Ministries, P.O. Box 10, Mabton, WA 98935.


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