John Shirly Allred
Graveside services will be held at 1 p.m. Saturday, March 26 at the East Line Street Cemetery in Bishop for 45-year Bishop resident John Shirly Allred. Winnedumah Masonic Lodge No. 827 will officiate. A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. at Seventh Day Adventist Church in Bishop with Pastor Randy Skoretz officiating. Visitation will be from noon-5 p.m. Friday, March 25 at Brune Mortuary in Bishop.
Born Dec. 15, 1926 at home in Gardena to Thomas Kelsey Allred and Elsie Westad Allred, of English and Norwegian descent respectively, John died March 21, 2011 at his home in Bishop. He was 84.
John’s father died when John was 10 years old, leaving his mother to raise five children alone. They all learned to work at a young age. His mother was an amazing woman, baking Norwegian pastries and pies to sell during those years of the depression. Eventually, she and John moved to West Hollywood where he worked at Schrillo Aerospace Tool, and attended Glendale Academy.
After graduation in 1945, he was inducted into the Army as a medic for the military and possible overseas duty. After an honorable discharge as a technical sergeant, he returned to Southern California and enrolled at UCLA for training as a dental technician. He enjoyed sharing his experiences of going to school with Billy Barty, the actor. During this time, he met and married Merna Porter in 1952, a marriage that would last 59 years this April.
John decided being a dental technician was not his niche, so he became interested in housing construction and carpentry, same as his father. He soon became a general contractor and managed his own business in La Crescenta and Glendale. New building projects were going very well in Bishop, and his good friend, Keith Jensen asked him to help. Together they built the Academy Street apartments, a doctor’s office and several homes.
John loved the friendly town and the Eastern Sierra. He sold the La Crescenta home and moved to Bishop in 1965. He was convinced it was the place to raise his two sons. It grew on them also. They and their families are still here.
John made friends easily through church and work relationships. Soon he had an opportunity to acquire property in West Bishop, entered a partnership with Don Talmage and Dr. Warren Kanen resulting in the development of Ranch Road Estates. That was the best partnership ever. John and his sons Kelly and Lindsay built many beautiful homes there as well as the bridge entering the tract. Because of Don Talmage’s involvement, rumors began circulating that a cemetery was being planned. Don was the local mortician. They worked quietly to disprove that rumor. John so enjoyed working with the subcontractors and made many long lasting friendships.
John’s family was his source of pride and he loved each one dearly. He was loved more than he knew and will be greatly missed.
John was a member of the Winnedumah Lodge No. 287. He and Don Talmage developed the Ranch Road Estates and built several homes in the area.
He is survived by his wife, Merna J. Allred of Bishop; sons, Kelly B. Allred and John Lindsay Allred, both of Bishop; sister, Julie Sondergaard of Hemet; and grandchildren, Kristy and Kelsey Allred of Bishop and Corey and Ryan Allred of Big Pine.
Donations in John’s memory may be made to the Hospice of the Owens Valley, 155 Pioneer Ln., Bishop, CA 93514.