In Memory

John Lancaster

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04/16/20 01:10 PM #1    

James A. (Jim) Stehr

Why does this feel like a game of musical chairs?  I always wondered if there was a way I could get someone to save MY seat!  Sorry, not in this "game."

I was sad to see that we lost John.  I remember him most recently from driving him from OAK to Jim and Ann's home in Danville for our last reunion there.  It was a good chance to get caught up with his history after PHS.

My best memory of John and my time with him was in the PHS music department.  He played the alto sax, maybe the tenor sax too.  He played in the marching band, the orchestra, the dance band and - most memorably - in the Combo that won the talent show in our junior year!

All of that was great fun; particularly, the dance band, because our teacher, Ken Dodson, hosted Sunday rehearsals at his home in the Montclair hills.  Not only did Mr. Dodson barbeque great burgers, but also, his fridge never seemed to run out of beer!!

This time was laughter all around.  John seemed much more outgoing during our practices than during on-the-job classroom time.  But that was kinda common for many of us.

Then in our junior year, Frank Wykoff organized six of us to enter the PHS Talent Show as a jazz combo.  Frank played the tenor sax, Foster Anderson played piano, Chris Hayes was on trombone, Bill Poulton was on trumpet, John was on alto sax and I was on the drums.  This was REAL camaraderie!!  John had a great time; he wailed on that sax!  We pulled it off because Frank's dad, then GM of Sherman Clay in Oakland, put up one of his piano salesmen, Don Bird, I think, as our coach.  He taught us the simplest of tunes: "The C-Jam Blues."  After a few intro bars, we all sang, "It must be jelly 'cause jam don't shake like that! ... Oh, Mama, you're so big and fat!"

We finished with a few more bars of the chorus, and we won!!

On the ride back to OAK from the reunion at Jim and Ann's, I talked more with John.  He told me how he had just survived a pretty bad auto accident.  He shared some interesting things about his career in aerospace engineering.  It seemed like he was really happy with it, with his family and having been with us at PHS.  But like most of us, he was happiest in retirement!




01/30/21 10:50 AM #2    

Matt Lifschiz

John's obit.


John Lancaster
Nov. 19, 1942 - Jan. 8, 2020
John Lancaster was a beloved husband, father and friend to many. He passed away Jan. 8, 2020. He was born Nov. 19, 1942 in Oakland, Calif., to Gordon and Elaine Lancaster. Besides his wife of 55 years, Judy; sons, James and Jeff; he leaves two brothers, Kent and Scott; as well as six grandchildren; and one great-granddaughter.
He had a long career in Aerospace and was an active volunteer for Tigard's Key Club, as well as several years with the Boy Scouts. He also helped with his wife's volunteer organization. John earned his BA at UCSB.
He will be sorely missed by many.
There will be a Celebration of Life March 1, 2020, at Tigard United Methodist Church.
Please sign the online guest book at


To Plant Memorial Trees in memory, please visit our Sympathy Store.

Published in The Oregonian from Feb. 12 to Feb. 16, 2020.

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