Virginia Roper

John Walter Roper was born January 14, 1944 in Maynard hospital in Seattle - a much-wanted and loved baby. We had just received word on Dec. 24, 1943 that my brother Walter "Bud" had been killed at Tarawa in November. John filled a big void in everyone's life.

Your childhood years were all spent in and near Newhalem (Diablo, 1 year) at the Seattle City Light Project. Your Dad, Jack started as an operation helper and advanced to many years as Power House Supervisor, spending time at Ross (which he put on line), Diablo (which cleaned it up into a show place), and Gorge, where he spent most of his years.

I, Virginia, your Mom, spent a full and happy life as a nurse on the project, school nurse, substitute teacher, PTA president, Sunday school teacher and superintendent, home nursing trainer during WW II.

In 1949, your sister Virginia Maurine joined the family, another cutie. She followed you around like a puppy, but 5-1/2 years' age difference made for a no-rivalry sibling.

From the beginning I knew I'd never be able to climb mountains with John, but I could participate: Blueberry pancakes at 2, 3 or 4 a.m. (whatever the schedule) were put out to give the climbers their first burst of energy. Thousands, I must have made. On the return trip, I offered a soak in the tub or a hot shower. Mickey Newhouse says I saved his life by saying, "Go take a hot soak." After the climbers had relieved some of their aches and pains, dinner was ready and a bed available if they chose to stay.

Many of John's hiking buddies have been friends of ours for a long time.

Thank you, John, for sharing your love of the mountains.

(Virginia Roper)