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John Dean Raifsnider


Last updated 11/21/2019 at 5:57pm

John Dean Raifsnider

John Dean Raifsnider died Nov. 8, and went home to be with the Lord.

John was born Oct. 4, 1958, in San Diego to Charles LeRoy and Missouri Lillian (Craft) Raifsnider. He was the youngest of four children.

When John was a teen, he went to live with Reverend Richard Francis and Alice Ann Ashley and their two sons, Dean and Bryn. John was welcomed with open arms by the Ashleys.

John is survived by Tammy (Lemke), his wife of 41 years, as well as his son Daniel (Danielle) and his daughter Sarah (Chris) Barclay. In addition, he leaves behind his biggest blessing in life, his five grandchildren, Christian and Riley Raifsnider, Harper, Asher and Micah Barclay.

He also leaves behind his dad, Richard Ashley; brothers Dean (Marianna) Ashley and Bryn (Ruth) Ashley; half-sister Jane Phipps and sister Sandra Jordan, as well as a number of cherished nieces, nephews, sisters and brothers-in-law.

John attended Kennedy High School in Barstow and entered the United States Navy in 1977. While enlisting in the Navy in Los Angeles, he met and fell in love with his wife, Tammy, who was entering the Air Force.

They got married in San Angelo, Texas, in 1978 and moved from there to Berlin. Their son, Daniel, was born at Fort Ord, while Tammy was stationed at the Defense Language Institute in Monterey. While in Monterey, John worked in the auto parts field and began his life-long love for working on cars and all things automotive.

In 1987, John and his family moved back to Berlin where John worked on the flightline at Tempelhof Air Base. His proudest moment during that tour in Berlin was being able to tour Air Force One while President Ronald Reagan was in Berlin to give his famous speech in which he urged President Mikhail Gorbachev to "tear down this wall." Years later when touring the Reagan Library in Simi Valley, John recognized the plane in the museum as the one he was on in Berlin.

John's daughter Sarah was born in Berlin three days before the wall came down. Unfortunately, John could not be out dancing on the wall, as he was home helping take care of his newborn daughter.

After Tammy retired from the Air Force, they moved back to Fallbrook, so that their children could grow up near grandmas, grandpas, aunts, uncles and cousins.

After moving to Fallbrook, John started on a new career path – photography and writing. He wrote and took pictures for the Fallbrook Village News, The Scout newspaper at U.S. Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton and The North County Times.

His favorite types of story to write were the human-interest stories. He loved talking to people and hearing about their journey. John is known for asking people "Where are you from?" We told him when he gets to heaven, he can add, "When were you born?"

John's memorial service will be held at LifePointe Church in Fallbrook Saturday, Nov. 23, at 2 p.m. The family requests that in lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Life Pointe AWANA program.


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