John William Mayhan, Sr., 82, born May 15, 1937, beloved husband of Rosemarie (nee Joseph), loving father of John Jr. (Kellie), Mark (Donna), Peter (Missy), Paul (Marilou), and Marianne (Matthew Pesler); proud grandfather of John III (Trece), Ryan, Evan, Carter, Matthew, Grace, Jackson, Luke and Ava; son of Albert and Agnes, brother to Albert Jr, Marlene, Robert, Joseph, Nancy and William; and uncle to numerous nieces and nephews, died Tuesday June 18, 2019 at his home in Columbus, Ohio surrounded by his loving family.
Born in Omaha, Nebraska, John moved with his family to Evansville, Indiana, where he attended Reitz Memorial High School. He played baseball and football, enjoyed hanging out with his friends and family, and showed a real aptitude for math and science. He took these skills to Purdue University, where he earned both his Bachelor’s and Master’s Degree in Electrical Engineering. After taking several jobs that would lead him to New York, California, and St. Louis, John obtained a position at The Ohio State University and moved there in 1967.
It was in Columbus that he met Rosemarie, and in 1968, they married. With strong faith in God and family, John and Rose would be together side by side through good and bad for over 50 years, demonstrating a selfless, sacrificial love. Their blessed union gave them 5 children and 9 grandchildren, along with a multitude of precious memories.
In 1971, John moved his family to Beavercreek, Ohio, where he accepted a position at the prestigious Avionics Research Laboratory at Wright Patterson Air Force Base. John worked 25 years for the Air Force at Wright Patterson, advancing research in his area throughout the years, and earning the Outstanding Technical Achievement Award in 1988. John had an exceptional brain and was a brilliant engineer, though he was modest, humble, and down to earth. He knew how to relax, unwind, and enjoy the present moment. After his retirement, John would spend his days working on his house and yard, exercising and staying fit, visiting and keeping in touch with his family, and spending time with his grandchildren, the joys of his life, every chance he got.
In 2007, John would contract a debilitating form of encephalitis. Although this disease would eventually take his life, he constantly defied the odds by making several miraculous recoveries. John’s hard work provided an inspiring example of the strength of the human spirit to everyone who witnessed his struggle. Alongside his wife and children he persevered, never once complaining. He was a blessing to all he encountered and showed what amazing things can happen with determination, faith, and love. John and his family are grateful for the many medical and rehabilitation professionals who touched their lives, led for the past nearly twelve years by Cleveland Clinic physicians Dr. Steven Shook and Dr. Nabin Shrestha, both of whom were a gift from God and who can never be properly thanked.
John was a shining example of what it means to be a good man. He will be dearly missed by all who knew him, and those he knew, he loved.
Visitation services will be held on Sunday June 23 from 3PM-7PM at Hill Funeral Home in Westerville, Ohio. Mass of Christian Burial will be at 10:30 AM on Monday June 24 at St. Paul’s Catholic Church in Westerville, Ohio. Father David E. Gwinner, Celebrant.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to The Autoimmune Encephalitis Alliance, www.aealliance.org, or a charity of your choice.