The Garden Island
Notice #: 0001301581-01
Funeral Notices


John passed away at home in Kahaluu on September 15, 2020, at the age of 77. Born in Johnstown, PA, he grew up in Oregon and Maryland, where he attended Severn School. In 1965 he graduated from Duke Univ. where he met his wife Cheryl Swaringen. They were married later that year and went on to raise two sons, Daniel and Chris, with five grandchildren following.

John served in the U.S. Marine Corps for 20 years, including a tour in Vietnam and 17 household moves, retiring in Hawaii in 1986 as a Lt. Col. He went on to earn a Masters degree in Urban & Regional Planning from U.H. in 1988, and joined Belt Collins & Assoc., where he started a successful Environmental Planning Dept.

His true passion was sports, everything from lacrosse, rugby, ocean kayak and canoe paddling, hiking, and finally bicycling. He shared this passion by serving as a director for many community groups, such as Hawaii Bicycling League, the Friends of Haiku Stairs, and Kaneohe Bay Task Force, among others.

John was an avid ocean enthusiast, who enjoyed the ocean in so many ways, from surfing to paddling and fishing to diving. With many Molokai channel crossings under his belt with canoe clubs including Hanalei and Kailua, he was also one of the first few to cross the channel in solo surf skis in the fledgling Kanaka Ikaika races decades ago.

John’s love of nature and the ocean was strong and passed on to his children and those around him.

John was a beloved husband and father, a waterman, a conservationist, a philanthropist and a patriot.

He will be deeply missed by many, but especially his family.

Celebration of life to be held at later date. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the American Heart Association.