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Memorial Tributes, Volume 14
In 1965 the Fondahl family found a house in Los Altos Hills (California) with spectacular views, where they have lived ever since. John taught his daughters to place concrete and worked incessantly on projects to improve the home. He and Doris were longtime supporters of local theater groups, including Bus Barn, Theatreworks, and ACT. On special occasions, John enjoyed sharing a bottle of Ridge wine with his family and friends and was a regular Ridge visitor on Father’s Day. Upon retirement he became a full-time gardener, planting and nurturing a large orchard and garden and engaging in year-round production of soups, jams, preserves, and juices. John loved hiking and cross-country skiing at Lake Tahoe, including leading his family on an annual hike up to Desolation Wilderness’s Crag Lake. John and Doris enjoyed traveling together to places around the world. In 1970 he and his family joined his father on a trip to their ancestral home in Fondalen, on the Holandsfjord in Norway.
Throughout John’s life the people who knew him valued his integrity, his stoicism, and his wisdom to hold his comments on matters of importance until he had reflected thoroughly on them. All who had the good fortune to know and work with John will deeply miss his reflective analysis, sage advice, realistic view of the context of construction, and unfailing sense of humor.
John is survived by Doris, his wife and companion of 70 years; daughters Lauren, Gail, Meredith, and Dorian; son-in-laws Ken Bilski, Joe Martinka, and David Wickline; and grandchildren Gwynne Bilski, Arielle Martinka, and Peter Martinka.