Alan “John” Follingstad
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May 16, 1942 October 1, 2019
After a very brief confrontation with cancer, Alan John Follingstad died early Tuesday morning on October 1 at the Evergreen Hospice House.
One can’t talk about John without talking about Chicago. He was born there on May 16, 1942 to Alice and Earl Follingstad. He grew up there, watching and cheering for the world-famous Chicago Cubs. After high school, he attended North Park University in Chicago. Later he moved to Kalispell, Montana, where his sons Michael and Douglas were born.
In the late 60’s they moved to Lebanon where he worked for the telephone company as an engineer. He continued there until retiring in the spring of 1996.
John loved golfing and fishing. He taught his sons both activities as they were growing up, and loved going out on the course or out on a lake with them or with his friends. While he didn’t really love gardening, he very much enjoyed seeing his front lawn perfect with bright flowers everywhere, so he spent hours every summer outside pulling weeds, mowing and trimming his apple tree.
But John’s truly favorite activity was sitting with his friends – some he’d known for years and some he might have just met a couple of minutes earlier. They’d sit, drink coffee, chat, drink more coffee and then maybe a sweet roll and another cup or two. Every morning he’d be at a restaurant with his buddies, talking politics and drinking coffee. And every day all summer, on TV he watched the Cubs try for another pennant.
John was a member of Lebanon’s First Presbyterian Church for over 35 years. The church family was extremely precious to him, and he served the church over the years in many roles – as ruling elder, as president of the corporation, on the mission committee and head of the stewardship committee. He changed lightbulbs, hung banners, supported mission teams, served on committees and wrangled with budgets. He first came to the church after attending AA meetings in Harden Hall. Sober for over 36 years, John was a member of AA and served as treasurer for his group for years.
He became a volunteer with FISH of Lebanon a few years ago, working behind the scenes to pick up fresh eggs from local farmers, stock food donated from grocery stores and various other tasks.
John met Sharon Zwierzyna at church and they married June 26, 2004. She survives him, as do his sister Donna Scott, children Michael, Norma and Douglas Follingstad, Craig and Thomas Ringheimer; grandchildren Giovanna, Yesenia, Venezia, Michael, Caitlin, Chase, Victoria and Mary; six great-grandchilden, and a great-great-grandchild is expected in December; nephews David and Christopher Scott and niece Martha Scott and good friends all over Lebanon.
John was preceded in death by his parents and his older brother Douglas.
A celebration of his life will be 11:00 a.m., Saturday, October 5, at the Lebanon First Presbyterian Church. Private interment will be at the Lebanon IOOF Cemetery.
Huston-Jost Funeral Home is handling arrangements.