John Poortinga

John Poortinga 

John Daniel Poortinga, better known as Curly, was born June 13, 1946 in Friesland, Netherlands to Henry and Sadie Poortinga. He was 2 years old when his family moved to California. Later they moved to Whatcom County to a dairy farm where he and nine siblings grew up.

John attended Ebenezer Grade School and then Lynden High School. After graduation, he joined the National Guard.

In 1967, John married Pat Vlasman.

They had three children: Sidney, Jodee and Dusty.

John worked many jobs. He wasn’t afraid to try anything. John especially enjoyed logging roads and driving heavy equipment.

John had many passions in life. He always enjoyed attending church, spending time with grandkids Corey, Brennen, Tara and Chris, hunting, chopping wood, riding his motorcycle, mechanics and camping with family and friends. He had many hunting trips in eastern Washington.

After retirement, Curly really enjoyed life. You could easily find him at the golf course with his buddies.

He enjoyed the social part as much as the sport.

It was good that he did, as in 2010 he was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s.

After losing his license, John enjoyed his bicycle.

Is still gave him a little freedom with many trips to the Auction Barn.

John thoroughly enjoyed people. He enjoyed all his family and friends.

The last six years of his life he spent at Bellingham at Orchard where he was dearly loved. A special thanks to all who work there for all they did for him.

He passed Nov. 1.

Memorial donations may be sent to the Alzheimer’s Association at, or Whatcom Hospice House at

John was preceded in death by his parents Henry and Sadie Poortinga and stepmother Dena Poortinga, brother Tony Poortinga and sister Evelyn Heeringa.

John is survived by his wife Pat of 55 years, son Sid (Angie) Poortinga, daughter Jodee (Shaun) Day, and son Dusty Poortinga, grandchildren Corey (Carmen) Poortinga, Brennen Poortinga, Tara Johnson and Chris Poortinga, and great-grandchild Allison Poortinga.

John will be greatly missed by his sisters Ann (Bruce) Taubenhium, Mary (Art) Doering, Tillie Van Van Drongelon, Sadie (Wayne) Cardin, Sylvia (Jerry) Watson, brothers Hank (Kathy) Poortinga and Ed (Anita) Poortinga, brother-in-law Marv Heeringa, sister-in-law June Viddal, stepsister Gerdine Morrison, stepbrother Garry Van Dyken.

John was loved and survived by many nieces and nephews.

A service was held Nov. 14 at New Life Fellowship Church.