John E. Bresland, age 79, of Silver Springs, Florida, passed away on March 5 at the William E. Christoffersen Assisted Living Center with his daughter by his side. John was deeply loved, well taken care of and enjoyed living near the mountains in Salt Lake City. He would often say that he was happy to finally experience life in the “wild, wild west.”
John enlisted in the US Navy at age 18 and for the next several years supported missions of the USS Boxer aircraft carrier. After being honorably discharged, John moved home to Chicago and went to work for International Harvester (now Navistar), where he worked as a machinist until his retirement 25 years later. Thereafter John moved to the sunny climate of Silver Springs, Florida and enjoyed many good friends, a variety of girlfriends, his dog, Brandy, and his lovingly restored fishing boat for many happy and healthy years. Late in his life, John suffered from Alzheimer’s disease. But that didn’t stop him from enjoying scenic drives to the Silver Fork Lodge for cobbler and a beer, walking through gardens on sunny days, visiting museums, watching westerns and playing with his otter-dog, Brandy, “the best dog in the world.”
John was born in Roseland, a neighborhood on Chicago’s south side, on July 7, 1941 to the late Edward J. and Irene (Luinstra) Bresland. He was close with his siblings, Annabelle (late Paul) Arrivo, Judy (Neil) Kelliher, Joan (Richard) Thomas, Marilyn (late Lou) Coda, and Bonnie (late Chuck) LeRose. John’s sisters watched over their little brother while he grew up, and John returned that affection for the entirety of his life.
Waiting to welcome John into Heaven—as well as direct him to the nearest fishing hole—are his parents, his beautiful sisters Joan (Richard) Thomas and Marilyn (late Lou) Coda, William (Bill) Bresland and his partner in crime and best friend (older brother) Frank Bresland. Throughout his life, John remembered his siblings fondly, especially his sister (and lifelong pen-pal) Judy. John also had childhood friends who were like family: Carl and Lynda Colby of Orland Park, Illinois. Carl and Lynda never lost touch with John. Their love for him was a gift.
Surviving to mourn John’s passing are his children, Linda (Rodney) Folkmann of Salt Lake City, UT and John (Eula Biss) R. Bresland of Evanston, IL. John has one step daughter, Lorrie (Roy) Kenseth, who was supportive from afar throughout John’s long illness. John was deeply proud of his children, and his four extraordinary grandchildren: Madeline (Carl) Randol (herself a proud US Military Veteran), Ben and Jenna Kanjo and Juneau Bresland.
John will be laid to rest at the Utah Veterans Cemetery Memorial Park in Bluffdale, Utah. A moment of remembrance will take place at the memorial park at 2 pm on Tuesday, July 7th.
A special thank you goes out to the extraordinary long term caregivers at the William E. Christoffersen Assisted Living Center in Salt Lake City and the entire hospice team at Wasatch Hospice.
Love Is Immortal
“Life is eternal, and love is immortal, and death is only a horizon; and a horizon is nothing save the limit of our sight.” --By Rossiter Worthington Raymond