“I like to say that I am the self-proclaimed president of the Woman’s Club Auxiliary,” grinned John. “With that truck, I am a highly sought after individual.”
When he retired in 2001 and moved to Boca Grande full-time one year later, John declared that he was not getting involved in any community organizations. His wife, Jo Ann, however, jumped feet first into the whirlwind of clubs, groups and charities on the island.
John was born in St. Petersburg and, except for time away at a military school and university, followed by a short stint in the Army, it was his home for decades. In 1956, he graduated from the University of Florida with his bachelor’s degree in Business Administration.
“Back then, there were around 12,500 students in the statewide university system,” he said. “Gainesville was very rural. Now it’s built up like so much of the rest of Florida.”
After graduation, John served in the U.S. Army, spending 1956 through 1958 in Germany.
“By that time, we were guests of the German government, instead of occupiers,” explained John. “We were there because of the Cold War.”
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