John was born in Susanville, CA, the 6th child of 7, where he claimed to have walked to school in the snow, barefoot and uphill — BOTH ways. John was recruited to the United States Navy for his football prowess, serving two tours in the Korean War, on a warship in the engine room – a notable position for a Black man — the first of several pioneered paths John carved in his 91 years.
He married his wife of 68 years, O’Della, on March 1, 1953. They were multi-residential property owners and small business owners, known for their generosity, hospitality, and entertaining. John worked as a Los Angeles County Sheriff for 30+ years, retiring as a Homicide Investigator. There, he helped establish the Special Enforcement Bureau (SWAT), and became one of the first Black deputies in the Narcotics and Homicide Bureaus. Post-retirement he assisted closing cold cases as late as 2018 at age 88!
He fiercely loved his family and the life he built for them in sunny Southern California. He loved fishing, playing golf, watching and attending ball games, cooking, reading the paper, swimming in his pool, and took great delight in his grandchildren, always present at their many sports games, and even escorted one to the prom. His honorable legacy continues, even though his laughter and the ever-present twinkle in his eye will be greatly missed.
He is survived by his sister Dorothy DeCuir, children Marla and John (Lorraine), grandchildren Brianca, Michael (Asma), John, Morgan, Ashley and Christopher, and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins and friend.