John Winston Churchill died on January 15, 2019 surrounded by family at Saint Therese at St Odiliaâs, Shoreview, Minnesota. John was 88 years old, and a resident of Mackinaw City, Michigan and Green Valley, Arizona.
John was born May 22, 1930 in Burlington, Vermont to Andrew Hawley and Etta Winifred Locke Churchill. John attended high school in Rutland and then earned his bachelorâs degree from the University of Vermont where he met the love of his life, Ann Carol Pelletier in 1948. John became engaged to Ann at Walden Pond in 1950 and they were married in Essex Junction, Vermont December 29, 1951.
After their honeymoon in Montreal, John and Ann moved to Ann Arbor, Michigan. John earned his Masterâs degree in 1953 at the University of Michigan in wood technology. Following Johnâs graduation, they moved to Washington D.C. where John worked in research for TECO (Timber Engineering Company). John, Ann and their first dog Brock enjoyed their time in Washington D.C. They became avid fossil hunters scouring the beaches and cliffs near the Chesapeake Bay, donating a prehistoric tapirâs jaw to the Smithsonian and collecting a large number of fossilized sharkâs teeth, which remain a family treasure.
John was recruited to open a particleboard plant in Altoona, Pennsylvania for Westvaco, and over the next four decades, John and Ann moved across the United States, largely for Johnâs work. He had an incredible work ethic and talent in the particleboard industry. With his success came promotions to executive positions and transfers as the companies merged from U.S Plywood to Champion International and Georgia Pacific.
Places John and Ann lived:
Tyrone, Pennsylvania 1956-1963, with the birth of Nathan and Julie
South Boston, Virginia 1963, with the birth of Martha
Gaylord, Michigan 1964-1973
Lufkin, Texas 1973-1974
Dunwoody, Georgia 1974-1976
Fairfield, Connecticut 1976-1982
Gaylord, Michigan 1983-1987
Alpharetta, Georgia 1988-1996
Mackinaw City, Michigan â 1997 to present; after Johnâs retirement, the snow bird years were split between Mackinaw City and Arizona
Sahuarita & Green Valley, Arizona 2006-present
In addition to Johnâs successful career, he was devoted to family and enjoyed spending time in Mackinaw. He was known for sharing his Sunday morning popovers, his famous Caesar salad and no bake cookies. For many years, he enjoyed hunting and fishing, and long walks with his dog in the woods and trails in Michigan. John took advantage of his travels and enjoyed hiking, especially working toward his goal of climbing the highest elevation in each state. He passed on this love of the outdoors to his grandchildren. He took up motorcycling and racecar driving for a period of time in his retirement years.
After retiring full time in Mackinaw, the reality of winter in the North set in and John and Ann found respite first living in Sahuarita, Arizona and then settling in Green Valley for their winter months. They fully embraced the Southwest including watching trains coming to and from nearby Mexico. They enjoyed the UCC community at Good Shepherd, the culture, art, visits to the Desert Museum, and learning all the new flora and fauna of the area. They loved hosting friends, family, and introducing them to their winter home.
Despite moving across the country and enjoying their time in each new area, John was grounded by his roots in Vermont. He cherished his visits back to the Green Mountain State to visit family and his high school friends.
John is survived by his children Nathan John Churchill (Circe Micai Pignatari Churchill), Julie Ann Churchill (Michael Henson), Martha Elizabeth Churchill (Peter Van Buren); by his grandchildren Andrew John (AJ) Churchill, Arthur G. Churchill, George C. Henson, Henry C. Henson, Eleanor (Nora) C. Henson, Jacob (Jake) C. Van Buren, Elliot (Eli) P. Van Buren, Tessa A. Van Buren, his sister Mary Jane Churchill Wing, and their beloved dog Rip.
John was predeceased by his wife, Ann P. Churchill, his brother George H. Churchill, and his parents Andrew Hawley and âWinifredâ Locke Churchill.
The family wishes to thank Heidi and Gary Geroux, Ed Trudeau, Jeannie and Dean Scheeren, Liz Hastie, William and Andrew Loner, Julie and Pat Mousseau, for their enduring friendship and loving care.
In lieu of flowers, the family has chosen donations to Mayo Clinic or the Good Shepherd Church.
Pulmonary research at the Mayo Clinic.
To donate online, please use the following link:
1. Under "Donation Information", click the drop down menu labeled "Designation", then choose "Other" at the bottom of the list
2. In the next box under "Additional Information - Other Designation", please type "pulmonary research"
3. Fill in the rest of the form and at the bottom, under "Tribute Information", select "in memory of" and type in John W. Churchill.
To mail a donation, please use the following form:
Good Shepherd United Church of Christ
17750 S. La CaÃ±ada Dr.
Sahuarita, AZ 85629
Memo line: in remembrance of John Churchill