Deceased September 28, 2021

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In Memory

John attended St. John’s Prep High School, then Amherst (where he picked up the nickname “Champ”), then Dartmouth for his MBA, after which he was hired by the Cabot Corp. One of his lifelong friends became a Jesuit priest, reassuring John that many of their adventures would be forgiven, or at least that he was sworn to a holy vow of confidentiality. An ironman linebacker for the Lord Jeffs and a team captain, he always led the team in tackles. John met the love of his life, Donna Coffey, in a bar, prompting the question of why he was so worried years later that his daughter met her husband online. In their 56 years of marriage, they created phenomenal friendships, had worldwide adventures and amassed way too much stuff. In their home of 41 years, they threw nothing away. Really. Nothing. 

Two years after signing up with Cabot, John’s first foreign assignment, for five years, was to Pampa, Texas, followed by two years in São Paulo and seven years in Paris.

John never came close to mastering another language. In a “non-English” situation, he patiently spoke more slowly and loudly, his South Boston accent on full display.

At age 42, he bought his dream home in Hingham, overlooking the ocean, throwing legendary dinner parties with Donna. He is survived by children Pauline, Stephanie and Jake, and nine grandkids.

After Donna suffered an unfortunate fall, she required memory care, and their daughters moved them reluctantly to Tucson, Ariz., John muttering under his breath, “I would rather die.” He wasn’t kidding. Two months later, he received Last Rites, passing away peacefully, surrounded by family. Not a day will go by without us thinking of him. Not a day will go by without us missing him. It is the end of an era. 

—Stephanie Young Rosen ’90 and Pauline Young Rush ’88