Johnnie Dorotik passed away on June 9, 2019, at Providence Hospital, Everett, Wash. His loving wife of 55 years was at his bedside. His three children had spent the day before thanking him for the many memories and the deep inspiring love he had always shown them.
He was born April 19, 1940 in El Campo, the son of John and Clara Dorotik. He graduated from El Campo High Scool in 1959 and enrolled in Texas A&M University where he played cornet in the Aggie Band before graduating in 1962 with a degree in Mechancal Engineering.
He met his future wife, Betty, at a dance when she was 17 and he was 20. They were married in 1963 in a town named Blessing and moved to West Palm Beach, Fla. where he had taken a job with Pratt & Whitney Aircraft. He had a security clearance to work on the J-58 aircraft engine destined for the SR71, also known as the Black Bird, a Stealth aircraft built for surveillance.
In 1965, he and Betty moved to Bellevue,Wash. curious about the Pacific Northwest. He had taken a job with Boeing to work on the Supersonic Transport. Realizing the SST was not progressing as expected, he changed his career from aerospace to the computer industry working as a sales rep for General Electric time-share internet where he teamed with co-worker Randy Myers, who became a life-long friend.
In 1967, Computer Sciences Corporation hired him to develop a software program for Multnoma County. After a year of commuting to Olympia, he contacted Houser, Martin, Morris, a professional placement recruitment service. He was considered over-qualified for any jobs they offered, so he accepted their offer to become a recruiter which began a new career as a head-hunter. After a few years he started his own business named Hi Tech Recruiters. In the early 80s he met another life-long friend, Duane Dier who owned Dier & Associates. Hi Tech Recruiters became Data Force and merged with Dier in 1985 and moved to Seattle. Office Force and Accounting Force were added while Dier & Associates concentrated on banking. The combined companies were a prominent factor in the recruitment industry for several years and was purchased by Robert Half International in 1991. Johnnie and Betty were building a home on Camano Island at that time and Johnnie decided to retire at the age of 51.
They sold their Bellevue home and moved to Camano. For the next 20 years, he lived a life envied by many. Free of rush hour traffic, suits and ties, and the stress of a professional industry, he bought a tractor and more property, got a dog named Jasper, who he walked twice a day often picking up litter along the way or stopping to chat with a neighbor. He helped Betty create a beautiful garden; planting, hauling mulch, building arbors and a pond with time left to smell the many varieties of roses. He split wood for their fireside chats every winter morning. He dusted off his cornet and joined the music group at the senior center. The group became Camano Junction, a 16-piece Big Band that played dances once a month.
He upgraded to a Bach trumpet and loved time spent with his fellow band members. He served on the board of the center and helped recruit the center’s executive director. His friendliness and energy inspired those around him to fully participate in life, not just live it.
In 2011, he suffered a debilitating stroke that forced him to give up everything he loved with one exception, his loving wife, who was dedicated to his care. A man who rarely sat still was now a man who struggled to walk. He had weekly visits from good friend Craig London, who was a retired physical therapist. Another friend and fellow Aggie, Dennis Moraski, read to him every Friday morning.
His sons, now grown and married, were grateful for a dad who taught them how to fix almost anything, how to work on their bikes and later their cars, how to trouble shoot a plumbing or wiring issue, split firewood and maintain a house. He taught his daughter a love of nature and a sense of adventure with the many fun activities they enjoyed together. He also encouraged her to play the flute and how to read music which she enjoyed for many years. He taught his kids “Don’t ask, don’t get” and to be “nice as possible, nasty as necessary” when dealing with any situation.
In his last eight years, post-stroke, he taught all who knew him the art of resilence, fortitude, steadfastness, acceptance and “letting go of time.” He will be greatly missed by his family and multitude of friends.
He is survived by his wife, Betty; two sons, Dean Dorotik (Cheryl) of Brush Prairie, Wash. and Michael Dorotik (Lourdes) of Bellevue, Wash., and a daughter, Shari Hallahan (Michael) of Del Mar, Calif.
He leaves behind six beloved grandchildren, Kylie, Max, John, Sophie Ashleigh and Danilo, who will miss their PoPo. He is also survived by two sisters, Edith Farish and Elaine Janik (Gene), both of El Campo and extended family of nieces, nephews and cousins.
A Memorial Mass and Celebration of Life is planed for Aug. 7 at 11 a.m. at Saint James Cathedral, 804 Ninth Avenue, Seattle, Wash., with a reception to follow (www.stjames-cathedral.org).
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has gone, the new has come.” 2 Corinthians 5:17