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LOPD officer dies after year-long battle with cancer

John Gary Schrunk Jr. joined the department in 2013 and fell ill while attending the police academy

SCHRUNKLake Oswego Police officer John Gary Schrunk Jr., who joined the department in 2013 after running his own construction business for 17 years, died Dec. 30 after a year-long battle with cancer.

He was 46.

Schrunk started at the state's basic police academy in October 2013 and was set to graduate last February. But six weeks before graduation, he fell ill and was taken to the hospital, where doctors discovered an aggressive, cancerous brain tumor. He died less than a year later at his home in Salem, with his wife Tamisha at his side.

“Although he was only part of the police department family for a short time,” said LOPD Chief Don Johnson, “John made a big impact on all of us, and he will definitely be missed.”

Schrunk was born on July 29, 1968, in North Bend and graduated from North Bend High School in 1987. He went to George Fox University on a soccer scholarship and later attended Southwestern Oregon Community College and the state police academy at Western Oregon University.

He married his high school sweetheart, Tamisha LaSanke (Schanno), in 1990. The couple met in the fifth grade at Bangor Elementary in North Bend, began officially dating in the ninth grade and were together ever since. Their son, Cody, was born in 1994.

Schrunk owned and operated Elk River Construction for 17 years. He was an avid hunter and fisherman and loved the outdoors. He joined the LOPD In September 2013.

"It was always his dream to go into police work," LOPD Sgt. Tom Hamann said. "Ultimately, he decided to take the leap."

Officers from the LOPD will be participating in a celebration of life ceremony for Schrunk at 1 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 24, at the Abundant Life Center, 835 N. Second St., in Jefferson. The family is inviting all who attend to bring their favorite side dish for a potluck reception in the Church Fellowship Hall and to wear their favorite hunting attire in honor of Schrunk.

Schrunk is survived by his wife of 24 years, Tamisha Schrunk of Salem; son, Cody Schrunk of Salem; his parents, John Sr. and Bobbi Schrunk of North Bend; brother Eric Schrunk and his wife Tamra of Jefferson; grandmother Hilda Schrunk of Myrtle Creek; nephews Gary, Shawn and Casey Schrunk, all of Jefferson; and several aunts, uncles and cousins.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Oregon Health & Science University Neuro-Oncology and Blood-Brain Barrier Program (3181 S.W. Sam Jackson Park Road, Portland, OR 97239) Friends and family can sign online guestbooks at coosbayareafunerals.com and theworldlink.com.

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