John Vanderlin

John Duane Vanderlin, 82, beloved son, brother, uncle and great-uncle passed away peacefully on Tuesday, March 16, 2021 in Federal Way, Wash. John Duane Vanderlin ‘Uncle John’ was born on April 22, 1938 to John and Ruth Vanderlin in Devils Lake. He attended St. Mary’s Academy in Devils Lake, graduating in 1956. John moved to Seattle and started his career with the United States Postal Service in 1958. In 1962 John enlisted in the United States Air Force where he served his country as a Morse Intercept Operator. He completed his four years of service in 1966 and then completed his two years of reserve duty in 1968. After completing his military service, he returned to the U.S. Postal Service and continued to serve until his retirement, after 45 years, in February of 2003. 

Though John was never married and did not have any children, he was incredibly involved in his nieces, nephews, great-nieces and great-nephews lives. John was everyone’s ‘Uncle John’. He very much enjoyed coaching, watching and rooting on all the kids’ sporting teams. He was the neighborhood go-to fun guy, taking kids to the park, swimming and many other fun adventures. John enjoyed playing on the local senior softball teams with many of his lifelong friends. He also had a great love for cooking and baking.

John is survived by his brothers – Donald Vanderlin (Diane) of Aberdeen, Wash., Gerald Vanderlin of Gilby; many loving nieces, nephews, great-nieces, and great-nephews. John was preceded in death by his parents, John and Ruth Vanderlin; his sisters – Carol Heustis and Claris Stein; and his brother, Robert Vanderlin. 

Our beloved ‘Uncle John’ will be missed by so many. We are comforted in knowing that he is with family and friends and enjoying the many sporting events in the vast fields of heaven. 

Funeral Services will be held at 11:30 a.m. on Tuesday, April 20, 2021 at St. Philomena Catholic Church, Des Moines, Wash. – all are welcome. John’s final resting place will be Tahoma National Cemetery in Covington, Wash. where a private service will be held. 

In lieu of flowers, the family is collecting memorial funds that will be donated in John’s name to the local community sports that John loved so dearly. If you would like to contribute, please contact Janelle Vanderlin at

Uncle John, we will miss you always and will forever hold you in our hearts!! Until we see you again!! Love you a­lways!!

Posted online on April 12, 2021