Jack L. Dierdorff
August 24, 1918 - October 29, 2009
A man of his word and the definition of integrity
Jack Lehman Dierdorff was born in Wolf Point, Montana on August 24, 1918. Following two disastrous years of farming, the family moved to Surrey, North Dakota. Jack graduated from Minot High School in 1935, and then he and a classmate rode the rails on a Great Northern freight train to Everett, Washington to visit his Uncle, Clint Dierdorff, who was President of Everett Savings and Loan.
Coming from the dusty flat surroundings of North Dakota, Jack thought this area was God’s country. Jack climbed Mt Pilchuck, swam in Puget Sound, and thoroughly fell in love with the Pacific Northwest. He returned to North Dakota and attended Minot State College for two years, and then returned to Seattle and graduated from the University of Washington in 1940.
Jack was a rental agent with the Metropolitan Building Corporation when Pearl Harbor was bombed on December 7, 1941. He enlisted in the Army, and was immediately shipped out on the Queen Mary to Australia. In mid-1942 he was commissioned a 2nd Lt. in the Transportation Corps, and spent the next two years in New Guinea.
In 1945, at an Army rest camp in Santa Barbara, he met Wanda McCrillis, a cadet nurse, and on Easter Sunday, April 1, 1945, they were married. It was also April fool’s Day, but their marriage was no joke; lasting 64 years!
In late 1945, they were discharged, and Jack returned to the Metropolitan Building Corp until 1953, when he helped form University Properties, which later became Unico Properties. He retired as Executive Vice President in 1983, and then helped form Sekotac Investments, buying and managing buildings until 1992.
He officially retired at age 74 with over a 50 year span of commercial real estate activity in Seattle.
Jack was active in the Building Owners and Management Association, serving as the International President from 1977-1979. He was a board member of the Washington Athletic Club, President of the 101 Club, where he received the Torchy Torrance award.
Jack was a board member of the University of Washington Alumni Association, Minot State College, and Northwest Hospital. He was King Neptune of Seafair in 1983, and a member of the American Legion, Post #1 for more than 60 years.
Jack enjoyed the outdoor life; he hunted, fished, and playing tennis well into his late eighties. He was a lifetime conservative Republican—he was fond of remarking that his leanings were a bit to the right of Genghis Khan. Jack left his children with the profound sense to treat all people the same, to be honorable, to be courteous, and to tell it like it is. He was a man of his word and the definition of integrity.
He is survived by his wife Wanda, who has loved him for 64 years. They had three sons, one daughter, and nine grandchildren;
Son Jack Jr, wife Nancy, grandson Dan.
Son Dan, wife Laurel, grandson Ryan, wife Jolene, granddaughter Kelly.
Son Michael, wife Linda Scalzo, granddaughter Rita, grandson Tyler.
Daughter Lisa, husband Darren Medina, granddaughter Flora, grandson Kai.
Jack was preceded in death by a grandson David, and a granddaughter Jennifer.
Jack will miss his buddies from Vitos, the fine fellowship of his Senior Citizens morning coffee sessions at Tully’s in Madison Park and his many friends at the WAC 101 Club.
The family wishes to thank all of the people who have reached out to Jack in recent months, Char Barrett, owner of A Sacred Moment Funeral Service, and to all the people at Evergreen Hospice who took such good care of Jack and Wanda.
Please share a favorite story or memory (by clicking on Sign Guestbook link to the upper right) for the grandchildren and children, they would appreciate it.
Just as the Wave Cannot Exist
Just as the wave cannot exist for itself, but is ever a part of the heaving surface of the ocean, so must I never live my life for itself, but always in the experience which is going on around me. It is an uncomfortable doctrine which the true ethics whisper into my ear. You are happy, they say; therefore you are called upon to give much.
A True Fisherman
A true fisherman knows when and where the fish
He rises up early in the morning,
Plying the water for that elusive catch,
Waiting in the stillness for a nibble
A slight twitch in the line,
Expertly he reels it in --
A good fisherman knows a keeper
When he sees one, he knows when to toss one back
And when to head for home.