July 13, 1963 – November 1, 2023
John Kerry Leavitt was a man of God. In his own words from a past Forks Forum article, he was “a blessed and humbled man with a deep love for God, people, nature and photography.” He passed away peacefully at his home on November 1, 2023.
Son of Kerry and Thelma “Jeanne” Leavitt, he was born at Olympic Memorial Hospital in Port Angeles, Washington, on July 13, 1963, and grew up in his family home in Bear Creek, Washington. Being the only boy with four sisters, he loved to brag about being the tallest. He always said he had “a leg up over his siblings.”
He graduated from Forks High School in 1981 and married his high school sweetheart, Kara Lamb, in 1982. Together, they had a son, Justin, in 1983. John was married twice more; even though those relationships ended, they impacted his life, which led him back home and made him the person he was. Shortly after returning home, his nephew was re-diagnosed with cancer. John was an integral part of his journey and created the group “Rafe’s Army” on Facebook. He wanted to share encouragement and prayers with people in need.
Even though miles had separated him and his son, John continued to love and cherish him and his granddaughter everyday, always sharing a photo of his granddaughter to everyone, every chance that he got.
Over the years, John was a jack of all trades. He worked at Forks Thriftway, Carwin Lumber, Loth Lumber, and Allen’s Logging; when that closed, he went to school and became a drug and alcohol counselor at OCC. He worked seasonally for Leppell’s Flowers, with Kim’s Creations for the Twilight Festival, and rounded out his resume at Fern Acres for the last 7 years, where he truly loved working outside in nature and enjoyed interacting with all their clients.
In 2015, he started his business “What I See Photography and Ministry,” which was very meaningful to him. He had shared, “As I prayed about the name, I knew it was to be more than a business, it would be a ministry. I’ve asked The Lord to let me see life and the world through His eyes for the past 21 years and thought about it long before that, because I wanted to make a difference in this world and share God’s love and beauty with others.” He was known around the world for taking beautiful, breathtaking, and sometimes goofy pictures to put a smile on people’s faces.
When he wasn’t taking pictures or taking care of loved ones, John volunteered his time any way that he could. In his younger years, he coached baseball for his son and nephews, and more recently, he supported the next generation from behind the plate, umpiring games for West End Youth League. He enjoyed haying with his dear friends, the Lenahans, every summer; taking a photo with him and Dave was a yearly tradition. Announcing for the Forks Fourth of July Demo Derby, helping at school events for kids, and donating photos to raise money for Forks Elks Lodge #2524 and QVSA are just a few examples of how he shared his love for his community. He accomplished this all while also helping take care of his aging parents.
John’s love for Jesus was something that everyone knew about. He spent his last 20-plus years sharing hope with others in time of need and always lent a hand with anything big or small. His calling was to help make the world a better place to live- one photo, smile or hug at a time- and he shined doing just that.
John was preceded in death by his father, Kerry Leavitt; brother-in-law, Mike Crippen Sr.; and nephew, Rafe Price.
He is survived by his son, Justin (Rachel) Leavitt; granddaughter, Keira; his mother, Jeanne Leavitt; his sisters, Cheryl (Eric) Leppell, Lori (Mike) Crippen, Dora (Kirk) Price, Vicky (Seppi) Leavitt, as well as many nieces and nephews, great nieces and nephews, cousins, aunts and uncles.
A memorial service will be held at the Forks Assembly of God Church on January 27, 2024, at 12 pm. Potluck reception to follow.