John Michael Cairns, born September 27, 1956, passed away suddenly on October 11, 2020 in Hillsboro, OR. His parents were Chester (deceased) and Shirley Stiles Cairns.

John graduated from Oakland High School in 1974. He started at Oregon State University on an Air Force ROTC scholarship, was made Cadet of the Term, and then relinquished the scholarship because of the freeze for pilot training. He married Debra Kay Rard from Sutherlin in 1977. They had three children: Jill Christy Cairns-Gallimore (Dirk), Crystal Leann Cairns (Christopher Gorton), and Dominic Lee Cairns (Sarah). John later took his AEC mechanic certificate test and passed all parts without any formal training--working on farm equipment was his teacher. He continued to renew even after graduating from OSU as a “backup career.” He worked at, purchased, and later sold the Campus Shell service station in Corvallis. From 1989-1995, he worked his way up to Assistant Director of the OSU motor pool. In 1995, he earned his Bachelors of Science in Business Administration from OSU and started a career at Intel. Also, in 1995, he married Sara McFarland. The marriage ended in 2004. After 19 years at Intel, John retired in 2014.

John was a talented woodworker and enjoyed making his own office furniture, bedroom suite, bookshelves, etc. He was also very proud of his Scottish heritage and often wore his kilt to the Highland Games and other events. As a late blooming hippy, he worked security at the Oregon Country Fair for many years.

John had a passion for motorcycles that extended across his entire life. His final bike was his beloved Honda Goldwing “Goldie.” For many years, he was a member of the Rose City Motorcycle Club. He and his close riding companions, Colleen Woodard and Ambarish De became known as the “Three Musketeers.” One year, he and Ambarish rode from Oregon to Palm Springs, to Miami, to North Carolina, then John continued solo to Nova Scotia, across Canada, and back to Oregon. His last major road trip was solo to Denali National Park in Alaska. With failing health, he reluctantly gave up “Goldie.” In addition to his motorcycle trips, he enjoyed travel to locations such as Mexico, Australia, India, and New Zealand. He also visited all but one of the 50 states.

He leaves behind his mother, Shirley; brother, Lyle; sister, Glynis (Ben) Badgett; his children; and his grandchildren Lorelei Gorton, Corwin Cairns-Gallimore, and Tristan Cairns-Gallimore and many friends and relatives.

John’s final resting place will be in West Virginia where there will be a family service in the future. His close friends, “Musketeers” Colleen and Ambarish, plan to hold a Celebration of Life in the Portland area at a later date. Please visit or his Facebook page for details as they become available.

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