High School Yearbook Photo

"More than a place, the Shady Dell was and will forever remain a state of mind." - Shady Del Knight

"More than a place, the Shady Dell was and will forever remain a state of mind." - Shady Del Knight

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Remembering John

18 years ago today...

on the 16th
of January, 1993...
John Ettline
passed away.

John spent the last nine years of his life without Helen.
Can you imagine the strength and courage that it took
for John, a man in his 80's, to go it alone...enduring the hardships of winter and keeping the Dell in operation even
as the clientele became increasingly rough? How many of
us could have stood up to that kind of challenge?

Things to know and remember about John:

* John never had any children of his own
but he loved kids and believed in them.

*John was the oldest of eight children,
four boys and four girls, and took on the
responsibility of caring for his siblings.

* Shortly after marrying Helen in Texas
John enlisted in the U.S. Army. Nearly
40 years of age, John was one of the
oldest enlisted men in WWII. He was
promised the cavalry but, as fate would
have it, wound up in a communications
unit. John’s unit referred to him as Pops.
John attained the rank of sergeant, served
in the European Theatre, and participated
in the Battle of the Bulge. John was hit in
the head with shrapnel and ordered to go
home but he reportedly refused to leave
his men.

* John was a card shark, a gambler, and
a wheeler dealer –a larger-than-life type
of person – a colorful, loveable, and
memorable character.

* Am I my brother’s keeper?
To that question, John Ettline boldly
answered “Yes!” To John, a friend
in need is a friend indeed was more
than a familiar old proverb. It was a
policy statement.  They were the
words that John lived by. John was
known to give financial aid to friends
who were down on their luck or owed
money to unsavory individuals.
Neighbor helping neighbor was the
John Ettline philosophy. John and
Helen opened their doors and opened
their hearts to troubled youth, battered
women and others who needed their
support. John and Helen walked their talk.

* As a member of his family expressed it,
"John was loved and respected by
everyone he came in contact with...
especially his family. He offered love,
guidance and advice to anyone who
would give him the respect and listen.”

Please take a moment and watch this video
as we honor the memory of Mr. John Ettline.

John, you were the King of all Dell Rats.
If we have anything to say about it
you and Helen will always be remembered!

We love you and miss you, John!


  1. Here's to your remembrance good sir.

  2. Thank you, dear Gingey. I pray that your friend Jordie is having a wonderful birthday. You are a great friend to her and to me.

  3. As we travel the road of life it is seldom we meet someone like John that really makes a difference in the lives of those he's around. I am so happy you were blessed to have known and loved John & Helen. May his memory live on to give an example of what love is all about.

  4. I think it is wonderful how you are keeping John's (and Helen) memory alive by writing such a beautiful post about him. He does sound like a very special type of man. God bless them both, and you dear Shady.

  5. Odie & Thisisme - I am blessed to have friends like the two of you! Thank you both for appreciating how much this man and this woman meant to me and countless other teens.

  6. I will always remember him as a friend and I am sure he will forget about all the quarters I still owe him.


  7. Jerre - You're right. There were many occasions when John just waved you thru the door with no admission fee required. We owe John Ettline those quarters and we owe him a debt of gratitude for the indelible mark he left on our lives. Thanks for your comment, Jerre!

  8. I learned so much about John today. He was a great and good man. He left a legacy of love for his fellow man; what could be more noble than that? Thank you for telling us about his kindess and bravery, Shady.

  9. This was a beautiful remembrance Shady Del. I'll be thinking of John today, he sounded like such a special man.

    Thank you by the way for the music recommendation. I listened to the album, One Nation Underground, and it was absolutely lovely. But haunting and ethereal as well. Well deserving of dear Mr. Bosch's paintings. I particularly liked the song Another Time.

    Hope you have a lovely rest of your Sunday.

  10. Belle - Oh, to be remembered so fondly by so many people so many years later. That's why I'm here. Thank you for being part of it!

  11. Alabee - I am absolutely thrilled that you listened to PBS/ONU and found value in those songs. Yes indeed, "Another Time" is a superb track, originally released on 45rpm as the flip side of "Drop-Out."
    Thank you for your friendship and for this wonderful validating gesture, dear friend Alabee!

  12. My way - wonderful lyrics by Paul Anka.

  13. Wanilianna - Yessum! You have an impressive knowledge of music, my dear friend!


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