John van Belle Jr.

June 6, 1933 –– Aug. 17, 2018

John Paul van Belle Jr, had lived in Enterprise since 1955. He was born in Sunnyside, Wash., to parents John Paul Sr. and Alta van Belle. Many people called him Johnny, but to his large circle of relatives, he was known as “Junior.”

He was preceded in death by his parents, sister Betty, brother Jimmy and daughter-in-law Julie (Glen). He graduated from Sunnyside High School in 1951. He served in the U.S. Army March 1953 to April 1955, and was stationed in Germany the entire time.

He was married three times: Joanne Wallace, Janice Pratt and Joann. He is survived by his wife Joann in Enterprise, his daughter Ellen Jones (Doug) of Hermiston, a granddaughter Nelle, son Tom of Joseph, granddaughter Lisa and her two children, grandsons Cody, Joe and Jimmy, brother Charles (Buster) van belle of Everett, Wash., sister Charlotte (Frank) Beard of Ellensburg, Wash., and sister Ellen Pederson of Prosser, Wash.

He grew up in Outlook, Wash., in a rodeo family and was cowboy to the core. An injury to his back stopped him from competing, but he worked for van Belle Rodeo as a pickup man and behind the chutes.

After his discharge from the Army, he and Joanne came to Enterprise for a visit with relatives. They really liked the area and moved here in 1955.

He was a rancher for many years, running cows in the Elk Mountain, Joseph Creek, Shamrock Ridge and Flora areas.

He was well-known for telling stories. He liked to go to Davis’s Café for coffee and spin stories and tell jokes with others. He later migrated to the Cheyenne Café in Joseph for coffee and to tell stories and lies (his words) with the folks there.

There will be no service. A memorial will be held at a later date.

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