Move-In Date: September 22, 2011
John was in the gold business. It is tempting to visualize young John, pick axe in hand, but it was his grandfather who was in the Klondike gold rush, struck gold, and later started the Williams Gold Refining company in Buffalo, NY, in 1912. John was CEO of the business, which involved precious metals for the dental business, and highly sophisticated metals for the semiconductor industry, from 1958 until the business was sold in 1986. John got his flying license at the age of 17, butflew his father’s Waco biplane on floats when he was eight on their way up to their summer home on Kawagama Lake in Ontario. He needed three cushions to be able to see out of the cockpit. He continued flying all his life, and owned a series of planes. The last one was a pressurized Cessna P-210 which he and Ann, who is also a pilot, flew all over the US and Canada, and even flew to Alaska on a five-week odyssey.
John met Ann on Kawagama Lake where her father, a professor of geology at Colgate, also had a summer home. John was 20 and Ann was 17 when they met. For three years they were an item until John became an Air Intelligence Officer during the Korean War. By that time, John had earned his BS degree from Yale in Business Administration, having been elected as a junior to Tau Beta Pi, the engineering equivalent of Phi Beta Kappa. John married, returned to Buffalo, and was the father of three children.
Meanwhile, Ann, who had grown up at Colgate University as a faculty kid, graduated from Skidmore College in 1953. She soon married, and supported about-to-be doctor husband. When they adopted two sons and a daughter, she became a full time house mother. With the exception of three stints around Washington, she lived in Columbia, MO, where her husband was Dean of the Medical School of the University of Missouri.
With the end of John’s marriage, he went looking for Ann. It seemed not to have taken much persuading to convince her to move to snowy Buffalo where they stayed until 1986 when they sold the business and moved to Bird Key. The Bird Key canal was home to a series of boats rigged for fishing and traveling, they cruised in the Bahamas for as much as six weeks at a time. With the larger boats gone, they had an electric powered boat for quiet cocktail trips around the Bird Key canals. Both boats and planes are now behind them, but their passion for bridge remains. Cooking for both of them, and for Ann, Mah Jongg, continue to be equally absorbing. Volunteer work has always been important in their lives. Ann’s chief commitment is to All Angels by the Sea. Her long term devotion to health care and to Hospice culminated two years ago as she was given the 20 year award by Hospice.
Can this busy pair work Plymouth Harbor activities into their schedule? They have many, many friends here already. John and Ann say they have simplified their lives so they will be real Plymouth Harbor residents.