OMAK — John E. Andrist, longtime owner and publisher of The Omak Chronicle, died of respiratory failure Tuesday morning at his home in Omak. He was 75.
Andrist was part-owner, then owner and publisher of the weekly paper from 1970 to 1996. He and his wife, Mary Koch, sold it three years after he suffered a stroke that left him largely paralyzed and unable to speak, but with normal brain function. After six years of intensive therapy, he was able to steer his own wheelchair, and led a parade across Grand Coulee Dam to publicize the importance of therapy following a stroke.