John Frank Alto
The family of John Frank Alto offers an in-memoriam tribute to him on the one-year anniversary of his passing. Born in Seaside, OR on November 27, 1942 to Frank and Gladys Alto, John grew up in the area's tight-knit Scandinavian community, where he spent his youth fishing, hunting, logging, and helping his father build the Alto homestead, which still remains in the family.
A student athlete in high school, John participated in football, basketball and track. During his senior year, John discovered surfing and was a charter member of the Seaside Surf Club. After high school he attended Oregon State University, where he was a member of Phi Delta Theta fraternity and ROTC. In 1965 he graduated college as a commissioned Army officer with a degree in social studies.
Following college, John served in Vietnam from 1966-1967 as an Aero Rifle Platoon Leader for the D Troop 3/4 Cavalry, 25th Infantry Division in Cu Chi. A Bronze Star, Army Air Medal, Combat Infantry Badge and Purple Heart recipient, John became very involved in Vietnam alumni activities in his later years. He helped bring to life the book "Centaurs in Vietnam, Untold Stories of the First Year," and was proud to be involved with the creation of a granite memorial dedicated to the men of Seaside who served in country, which stands in Seaside's Cove.
After his service, John met and married Dorothy (nee Anderson) Alto, his lifelong love and wife of 52-years. As newlyweds, they lived in Washington and California while John worked for the Standard Oil Company. In 1973 they moved to Sherwood, OR to purchase a Chevron station, which they owned and operated for the next 40 years. When their children were young, the Altos spent many fond summers at their Cannon Beach cabin, where John fished a commercial dory, gillnetter and charter boat.
A proud citizen of Sherwood, John was active in community and civic affairs. In his free time, he was a lifelong outdoorsman and pursued hunting, fishing, and shooting sporting clays. He enjoyed the many friends and clubs he belonged to as part of these activities, which he was able to participate in up to his final days.
A friend and confidant to all, John loved to talk and was never far from his phone. If there was someone he could help, he would help them. If there was something he could fix, he would fix it.
John passed at home surrounded by family on January 25, 2021, due to complications from pancreatic cancer. He is survived by his wife Dorothy; son John M. Alto; daughter Amanda Foley and sonin-law Jonathon Foley; his brother and sister-in-law Jerry and Marta Alto; his grandchildren Jillian, Jarrett and Elka; and many nieces and nephews. He is remembered with love by them all.