By: Ray Tanner
Born May 22, 1920 and died peacefully October 5, 2021. He was truly a 'man for all seasons’, largely self educated (left school at the 4th grade), built crystal and diode radios as a youth and learned Morse code which allowed him to skip basic training in WWII. The Army Air Force sent him on Pan Am Airlines to primitive airports in many towns and cities of N. Africa to install radios should the US have need of them.
Postwar this lead him to a long career in the FAA (finally serving as Memphis Facilities Manager).
John’s hobbies included flying small planes (he built two ultralights for his own use), reading, travel, carpentry, and woodturning. John could fix almost anything, played the piano, knew more of the Bible than most teachers (which sometimes got him into trouble for asking too many questions) and enlarged and equipped the Hobby Shop at Kirby Pines Retirement Center where he spent the last 25 years.
He gave up driving at age 96, wood work at 98 but took up constructing Zentangles until two months ago. John’s advice was to have a task for each day and work at it diligently.
He was predeceased by his wife Eunice, mother of their son, Scott and daughter, Marie. He has four grandchildren, nine great grandchildren and one great great grandchild.
At age 86 he married Bobbye and they spent 10 happy years still travelling, including spending several months each winter in Arizona where he had a small shop attached to their travel trailer.
In 2007 Bob Spier wrote a Shop Talk with Johnnie and in 2012 Ray Tanner wrote another Shop Talk with Johnnie. You can view or download those articles below.