It is with great sadness and regret that we announce the passing of a longtime friend Jon Allan. Many of you knew Jon from his twelve plus year history with the Silver Bow. For those that did not know Jon, or perhaps not well, I would like to give you a brief history of our time with Jon.
I first met Jon approximately twenty years ago. Jon was a chemistry teacher at University High School in the Spokane Valley. A longtime fly angler and outdoorsman, it wouldn't be until a handful of years later that Jon would retire from teaching and come to work with us at the Silver Bow. It was actually in Jon's chemistry class my junior year that I met a fishing friend who unfortunately lost his life at the early age of 19. Through the loss of my friend, his family had introduced me to the former owner of the shop, ultimately leading me to start working at the Silver Bow.
After I took over the shop in 2005, Jon was ready to retire from teaching. I had encouraged him to come to work with me, the perfect gig for a retired guy who loved to fish. Jon soon started after retirement and was a tremendous asset to the shop. His fishing knowledge, ability to teach, share information, and overall jovial personality were a hit with many anglers of all ages.
During his time with us at the shop Jon wore many hats. In particular, a funny story he liked to tell people was about his first job at the Silver Bow. I had received a poor grade in his chemistry class, now with the roles changed and me as his boss, he jokingly liked to tell folks that his first task was to clean the toilets here as punishment for me receiving the less than stellar grade. Jon dubbed himself "Head Janitor" at the Silver Bow for the remainder of his years here.
Jon's role was far more than the "Head Janitor" though. Jon was the rock of the fly shop. He helped customers with the fishing problems, spent some time guiding anglers on the Clark Fork and lakes in the early days of our guide service, taught classes, helped with IT problems, befriended many customers whom became his fishing buddies, and most of all was the in-house therapist for all of us in the shop. When we had problems whether it was relationships with spouses, friends, or customers, Jon was there to help fix them. There was no problem too big or too small for him, he helped with them all.
Jon was also known for his handyman skills, aka "Cabana Boy Services". All of us here at the shop owe Jon a great amount of gratitude for the many times he helped us get out of jams. Whether it was busted boat trailers, fishing gear, household repairs, snow plowing, or more, the list is way to long to spell out here. He helped each an every one of us broke fisherman get our stuff fixed and did it free of charge. Never once did he bring up the favors and ask for compensation in return, he just simply wanted to help his friends. He was easily the most selfless man I have ever known.
Humor was also one of Jon's many great traits. Often if tensions were high in the shop Jon could easily defuse the situation with a quick one liner, usually a quote from one of his favorite movies The Big Lebowski. If Jon wasn't smiling, he was laughing. His quick wit and positive attitude were infectious. I'm guessing after the 30 years of teaching passive aggressive students like my brother and I, one would fine tune his humor to deal with smart ass kids like us. There wasn't a single day in the shop where jokes or smart ass comments were slung about. While you have thick skin to work at the Silver Bow, the humor shared between Jon and the crew was always light hearted and often made the long days at the shop go quickly.
Jon's loss came about too soon. As most close friends and customers know, Jon had retired from the shop about a year ago to spend more time with his wife, kids, and many grandchildren. He was very devoted to his family and enjoyed "grandpa's baby sitting services" and taking his son, son in-law, and grandchildren fishing.
There are many Jon stories that all of us have, and I'm sure many of you reading this have fond memories of the "big fella" as well. His loss will never be replaced at the Silver Bow. Jon was the person the world could use more of, someone that was there through it all, someone that was selfless, someone that was objective, someone that cared deeply, and someone that was genuine. I know I have learned a great deal from Jon, and am beyond honored to have been his friend and colleague for a part of his short lived life here on this planet. We will miss you big guy.
- Sean Visintainer
- When - Saturday - June 16, 2018
- Time - 4:00 pm
- Where - Higlands Golf Course, 5600 E Mullan Ave, Post Falls, ID 83854