John ‘B.J.’ Raymond Bjork
WINCHESTER, Va. – John “B.J.” Raymond Bjork, 74, of Winchester, Va., died Saturday, April 26, 2014, at Spring Arbor in Winchester, Va.
John was born on June 22, 1939, in Madison, Wis., the son of the late Henning and Blanche Bjork. John grew up in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan in the town of Gladstone. He loved to spend time at the family cottage on Lake Michigan. Mr. Bjork attended Gladstone High School, graduating in 1957. John attended Michigan Technological University in Houghton, where he was one of only two freshmen who earned varsity letters in tennis. He graduated from Western Michigan University in 1962 with a BA in Spanish, followed by a master’s degree in Spanish from American University in Washington D.C. where he also held a teaching position.
John enlisted in the Army in 1962. After serving four years, he worked for several federal agencies. His assignments included translating seminars in Spanish-speaking countries, counter-intelligence, and computer security. He retired as a computer security specialist for the United States Secret Service in 1994. Mr. Bjork was an avid Redskins fan, had a great sense of humor, loved to play tennis, was an amateur ham radio enthusiast, enjoyed speaking Spanish, and was an avid writer. He loved the outdoors and playing the guitar.
John married Carol Vannoy in 1991, in Winchester, Va. She preceded him in death in 2013.
Surviving are his son, Jonathan Henning Bjork and wife, Ellen, of Fairfax, Va.; two granddaughters, Jillian and Ava Bjork, both of Fairfax, Va.; one sister, Nancy Schram, and husband, Dan, of Fort Wayne, Ind.; niece, Jennifer Fisher and husband, Troy, of Fort Wayne, Ind.; stepdaughter, Cindy Smith of Winchester, Va., stepdaughter, Lisa Vannoy of Martinsburg, W.V.; step-grandchildren, C.J. Lord, Maria Haas, Brittany Smith, Kristen Smith, Emily Smith, and Caroline Smith; grand-nieces, Mia Fisher, Hailey Fisher, and grand-nephew, Nicholas Fisher.
John was preceded in death by his first wife, Carmen Wilke, in 2007.
John’s family will receive friends on Friday, May 9, from 10 to 11:30 a.m. at the Memorial United Methodist Church in Gladstone. Military rites conducted by the U.S. Army and the Gladstone American Legion Post 71 will follow at 11:30 a.m. Funeral services celebrating the life of John “B.J.” Raymond Bjork will follow at noon with Rev. Elizabeth Hill officiating. Committal rites will follow at the Fernwood Cemetery in Gladstone. Luncheon will be served at Smith Hall at the Memorial United Methodist Church in Gladstone. Please visit www.skradskifuneralhomes.com where you can express your sympathy to the Bjork family or leave a memory tribute about John.
In honor of Mr. Bjork, memorial donations can be made to Blue Ridge Hospice, 333 W. Cork St., Suite 405, Winchester, Va., 22601 or to the Michael J. Fox’s Foundation for Parkinson’s Research, Grand Central Station, P.O. Box 4777, New York, N.Y., 10163. Envelopes will be available at the Skradski Family Funeral Homes.