John Paul Binford Sr., 80, passed away August 4, 2020 at his home in Meridian, Idaho in the loving arms of his family.
John was born in Portland, Oregon on December 24, 1939 to Lindley Charles and Dorothy (Lutz) Binford. As a child, John moved with his family to Mexico City, Mexico. While the family eventually returned to the states, John remained fluent in Spanish throughout his life. After graduating from Madison High School in Portland, John attended Willamette University in Salem, Oregon, earning a Bachelor's Degree in Political Science. John then joined the Peace Corps, serving two years in Ecuador building schools, some located in the Andes Mountains. At the end of his Peace Corps assignment, John had the opportunity to sail through the Galapagos Islands with his father. This was the beginning of a mission to build new schools in the Galapagos.
John and Mari Jo Clausen were married in 1966 and they had three children, John Paul "JP", Matthew, and Mari Jo. John managed Binford Apartments in Portland with his father and two brothers, Lin and William.
John never lost his passion for sailing. Mari Jo quickly learned to sail and as a family, they created lasting memories on the boat. When they weren't racing on the Columbia River, they were sailing the coast of South America. With family in tow, John returned to the Galapagos Islands to complete the school-building project with his father.
After years of visiting the Binford family cabin in Hells Canyon, the decision was made to make Halfway their home, relocating in 1980. John loved Halfway. He was forever grateful for the support of the community after the loss of his daughter, Mari Jo. John was involved in the Lions Club and the volunteer fire department. From 1987 to 1993, John served as Justice of the Peace. With his wife by his side, John worked to improve and beautify various properties in the valley. John enjoyed the transformation process, from initial vision to end result. He loved being on the tractor, tearing things up, rebuilding, and standing back to admire the finished result. If John had a hand in it, there would be trees ... a lot of trees.
John was an intent listener and could be counted on to propose creative solutions to complex problems. If it was broken, he could fix it. John's knowledge base was broad, from philosophy to plumbing. He approached life without fear and was not intimidated by the unknown. John saw the beauty in all things and appreciated the smallest wonders of life and the natural world.
John loved his family fiercely. He was preceded in death by his parents and his daughter, "Little" Mari Jo. John is survived by his wife, Mari Jo, and his sons "JP" (Angela) and Matthew (Aneke). John had four grandchildren, Candace Reinhardt (Zach), Timothy (Jessica), Mallary Taylor (Jonathan), and Adam. John was blessed with seven great-grandchildren and was grateful to have had time with them. John is also survived by his brothers, Lin and William (Diana). John will be missed by many nieces, nephews, and extended family, including his four sisters by marriage (sisters-in-love) and their husbands and families.
Due to COVID-19, memorial services will be postponed until a safe gathering of family and friends can be coordinated.
Memorial contributions can be made to the Baker County Fair and Rodeo, Hells Canyon Junior Rodeo, Pine Valley Fire Department, or Pine Valley Cemetery through Tami's Pine Valley Funeral Home and Cremation Services, PO Box 543 Halfway, OR 97834. Online condolences can be shared at www.tamispinevalleyfuneralhome.com
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