John Preston

 

image of John Preston

John Preston

Johnie Preston, of Seattle Washington, passed away Friday January 28th, 2022, peacefully in his home with his daughter Grace by his side. John was born to the late Gracie and Hudie Preston on June 14, 1942, in Camden, Arkansas. In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his brothers Lawrence and Louie Preston, and Samuel Etherly; his nephew Brian Del Preston; and his niece Andrea “Nadine” Jones.

John moved to Independence, Kansas a few years after his birth, where he attended and graduated in 1960 from Independence High School. He received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Southwestern College in Winfield, Kansas in 1965. John joined the US Army reserves at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri in 1965 and remained in the reserves for 6 years. While completing his service in the Army reserves, he moved to California and attended the University of California, Berkely, where in 1970 he received his Master of Arts degree in social work.

While working on his master’s degree, John started his professional career as a Social Worker in Richmond and Solano County, California, where he went on to become a Social Worker for the Berkely Unified School District. John was then recruited by the Seattle Public School District and worked in the Seattle Public School administration office for a few years, at which time he was recruited to be the Acting Principal of Garfield High School in 1973. After completing his work for the school district, he joined the City of Seattle Personnel Department working under Mayor Wes Uhlman from 1973 to 1975.

During John’s time working for Seattle Public Schools, he met Barbara Anderson, who was also employed there. They continued to work together at the City of Seattle where their friendship grew, and their loving lifetime relationship began.

In 1977, John and Barbara started Evergreen Computer Products, becoming one of the first African American and woman owned businesses in Seattle. They worked with then startup companies such as Microsoft, Amazon, Starbucks, and Seafirst Bank (BofA). During his time at Evergreen, John donated supplies and services to the community, always giving back to those in need. John and Barbara retired and closed the business in 2018.

John was an active member of Keystone United Church of Christ and acted as moderator until 2020. He led the congregation with sound judgement, humility, empathy, and a ready sense of humor.  He had a quiet way of transforming strangers into members of an extended family.

In May of 2021, John was diagnosed with Bile Duct Cancer (Cholangiocarcinoma), a rare cancer localized in his liver.

In addition to his loving wife, Barbara, of 48 years, John leaves to cherish his memory: his beloved daughter, Grace of Washington (Mikey); his sister-in-law Ruby Preston of California; his niece Stephanie White (Ralph) of California; his nephew Lawrence Preston, Jr. of Georgia; great-nephews Darius and Adam White of California; brother Ronnie McGowan (Sandra) of Washington; and hosts of cousins, family, and friends.

There will be a virtual memorial service for John in March. Remembrances can be sent to Northwest Harvest, the Coalition on Homelessness, or charity of your choice.

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