John Wightman, 74, of Milton-Freewater, died Oct. 16, 2012, at Providence St. Mary Medical Center in Walla Walla. Funeral services will be held Saturday, Oct. 20, 11 a.m. in the chapel of the Munselle-Rhodes Funeral Home, 902 S. Main St, Milton-Freewater. Concluding services and interment will follow in the Milton-Freewater Cemetery. Contributions can be made to the McRae-Ireland Baseball Field through the funeral home.
John was born in 1938 in Chicago to John and Irene Wightman. At age 6 months, they went to the Philippines as missionairies. During the war, they were interned in a prison camp for three years. After liberation, the family returned to Torrance, Calif., where he graduated from high school. John later joined the U.S. Navy and served for six years, spending time in Operation Hardtack doing nuclear testing at Enewetak Atoll in the Pacific.
In 1957, John married Mary Ellen Brown. They had a son Bob, daughter Cindy, and son Joe in California. In 1969, John and Mary moved to Oregon to raise their children. They spent five years in the Medford area before landing in Milton-Freewater in 1974. John worked as a Chevy master mechanic before starting his career with the Milton Freewater School District, where he spent 22 years. Upon retirement, John and Mary treasured spending winters in Arizona and spending time with their grandkids. He also enjoyed working in the yard, playing cards and his morning coffee time at Wee Bit O’Heather every day.
John is survived by his wife of nearly 55 years, Mary at home; daughter, Cindy Maccarone and husband, Paul, of Milton Freewater; son, Smokey Joe Wightman and wife, Lisa, of Boardman, Ore.; grandchildren, Tanner, Taylor and Skylar Wightman and Jordan and Jennah Mittelsdorf all of Boardman. He is also survived by sister, Elgie Lalley and husband, Norbert, of Glendale, Calif.; numerous nieces, nephews, family, many great friends; and his dog Sugar. He was preceded in death by his son, Bob on Dec. 29, 1995; parents; one brother; and one sister.