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John William Sater

September 19, 2021

John William Sater was born to Carl Alexander Sater and Helen Beatrix (Wentz) Sater on June 25, 1932, in North Bend, Washington, at the family home, where he joined his older brother, Dan. He died on September 10, 2021, at the age of 89. We hope you will all come out and celebrate with us on April 16, 2022, at the Auction Barn to celebrate the man, the myth, the legend. There will be a memorial service and an auction for John’s estate. We think he’d enjoy one last auction… closer to the date, we will post the time.

John was a child of the Great Depression. He had vivid recollections of the bombing of Pearl Harbor, which continued to have a great impact on him throughout his life.

John graduated from Mt. Si High School in Snoqualmie, Washington, in 1949. He went to college at WSU in Pullman, Washington, and graduated with a degree in Animal Husbandry in 1953. During the summers he worked for the Forest Service.

After college, he joined the Army for two years. During part of that time he was stationed in Iceland. He left the service with the rank of First Lieutenant.

In 1956, John married Nancy Elizabeth Gildersleeve, and they moved to Ely, Nevada, where he worked for the Soil Conservation Service.

In 1957, they moved back to “the green country” of western Washington, where he worked for Weyerhauser, first loading lumber cars and eventually becoming a sales manager.

While in North Bend, Washington, they had three children; John, Jeff and Jo.

John was involved in the Masonic Lodge, served as Grand Master at one time, and eventually received his 60-year pin.

In 1966 the family bought a ranch in Careywood, Idaho, a long-time dream for John. The next year he quit his job at Weyerhauser and the family moved to Idaho to become ranchers.

Running a ranch on a tight budget, he became a frequent visitor to auctions. In 1973, the family moved to Sandpoint. John started an antique shop and found the job he was made for, becoming a full-time auctioneer. He would serve the surrounding area with his auction for 49 years. John delighted in being an auctioneer and shared that love with his middle son, Jeff.

Together, they put on quite a show for their weekly crowd along with all the outside auctions they did.

In 1979, the family moved to Naples, where they continued to raise dairy cows and a big garden. John and Nancy later divorced.

In 1988, John moved the auction to the location where it has remained ever since, on Highway 2 between Moyie Springs and Bonners Ferry. Over time, the auction became a well-known social event for the community, and John was generous with this spirit of helping.

He did countless benefit auctions for various people in need. Every year in April he set aside a table where people would donate items to sell in benefit of the Shrine Hospital.

John was a prolific writer. He wrote a “Reflections” column for the Kootenai Valley Times for ten years and proceeded to write eight books.

In 1993, John married Carol Stewart Wilburn and he had his fourth child, Shane, in 1995. John and Carol later divorced and he never remarried.

John enjoyed music and singing. He played guitar and would perform at the Restorium, the fair and senior dances. Since 2015 he was involved with the Moyie Shrine Club.

He is survived by his brother Dan, children John (Ann), Jeff (Shanna), Jo and Shane, three grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.

He is preceded in death by his parents and one grandchild.

In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to the Shriners.

Questions or Comments? Send us an email!

Mike Weland, Publisher  

6931 Main St.
P.O. Box 1625
Bonners Ferry, ID 83805
(208) 295-1016

A 9B Media LLC publication
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