Journal of the San Juan Islands


John Trienens: 1948 — 2013 | Passages

March 18, 2013 · 8:38 PM

John Trienens: 1948—2013 / Contributed photo

John Trienens passed away in Seattle on Friday, March 8, 2013 at age 64.

John was born on April 13, 1948 to Howard and Paula Trienens in Evanston, Ill. and raised in Glencoe, Ill., along with siblings Kip and Nancy. He attended New Trier High School followed by Colorado College.

After college he headed west, and his love of fishing led him to Stuart Island. He fell in love with the island, and when he met Chris he convinced her to move there with him in 1975. They hand-built a house on the west side of Stuart and raised three children there, Sebastian, Nathanial and Nicholas.

John’s work was commercial salmon fishing and construction. He rebuilt an old wooden gillnetter, the Elva S, for fishing in the San Juans and around Seattle, and ran the Stuart Island Reefnets. He also took regular commercial fishing trips to Alaska.

John moved the family to Friday Harbor in 1987 and focused on construction, starting Oak Hill Millwork to create custom furniture and fine finish-work. He also served on the San Juan Island School District school board for eight years and was an active member of the community.

He had a love of travel, and visited many parts of the world. His last few trips were to Antarctica, The Amazon and Mexico. John was diagnosed with Non-hodgkin’s Lymphoma in 2003 and fought the disease courageously, winning 10 years more enjoyment of a very full life.

John is survived and greatly missed by his wife, Chris Trienens, sons Sebastian (Amanda), Nathanial and Nicholas, father Howard Trienens, brother Kip Trienens, sister Nancy Kaehler, grandchildren Hudson and Skylar, and many nephews and nieces. He is preceded in death by his mother, Paula Trienens.

A celebration of John’s life will be held in April. Please email strienens@hotmail.com to be notified of time and location.

— Family of John Trienens



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