John Roorda

  John Roorda, age 69, passed away Sunday, Sept. 16, 2018, at his home in the Silverado Memory Care facility of Bellingham.

  John was born in Bellingham on April 23, 1949, the fourth of five children to Dutch immigrant parents Theo (Theodore) and Fanny (Froukje) Roorda.

  John grew up outside Everson and graduated from Lynden Christian High School in 1967. John attended Dordt College and was in the U.S. Army for a short time. He returned to Whatcom County where he dairy farmed near Sumas and for a time was an owner of the Everson Auction Barn. In 1990 he relocated with his brother Larry to Caldwell, Idaho, where together they built Roorda Dairy. In 2007 Roorda Dairy relocated to Paullina, Iowa. In 2014 John moved back to Lynden.

  John’s life revolved around dairy farming and family, but most of all his faith. He most recently was a member of Lynden United Reformed Church. As his Alzheimer’s progressed, he found comfort in the song “In Christ Alone My Hope is Found.”

  John was preceded in death by his parents, niece Floreen Reitsema in 1964, and an infant nephew in 1984.

  John is survived by his sister Bessie Reitsema of Abbotsford, B.C.; brothers Paul (Cheryl) of Everson, Mike (Lin) of Lynden, and Larry (Jayne) of Paullina, Iowa.

  John was a special uncle known as Uncle Johnny or JR to 18 nieces and nephews, 50 great-nieces and nephews, and six great-great-nieces and nephews.

  The family thanks the staff of Silverado for the exceptional love and care shown to our brother, uncle and friend for the last year and a half.

  You are invited to join family for visitation from 3 to 5 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 23, in Gillies Funeral Home, 202 Front St., Lynden. Graveside will be at 10:15 a.m. Monday, Sept. 24, in Monumenta Cemetery followed by an 11 a.m. memorial service in Lynden United Reformed Church, 8650 Benson Rd., Lynden.

  In lieu of flowers, memorials may be sent to the Whatcom Hospice Foundation, 3001 Squalicum Pkwy. Suite 11, Bellingham, WA 98225.

  You are invited to share your memories and condolences in the online guest book at

  Arrangements are entrusted to Gillies Funeral Home and Cremation Services.