7 enero , 1927 – 14 mayo , 2019
John Profant, age 92 went peacefully on Tuesday May 14, 2019. John Profant was born on January 7, 1927 in Massillon Ohio, home of the Massillon Tigers. If you ever met John, you knew about two things: his family and his beloved Tigers. John was the eldest child of Mary Profant (Sedjo) and Michael Profant. Although his mother was born in Ohio, both parents were Slovak of Czechoslovakian descent. John had one brother, Raymond, and a sister, Dolores (Beck).
John was an exceptional athlete and was a Massillon Tiger to the end. If you ever met him, he surely told you about his Washington High School Massillon Tigers. The legendary Paul Brown (yes Paul Brown from Ohio State and later the Cleveland Browns) got his start coaching at John’s high school. John played football and basketball for the Tigers, until he graduated in 1943. He was a phenomenal athlete and was awarded a medal for the “Athlete of the Year” in his senior year. He was modest and this was an achievement he failed to mention to his family until the medal was discovered in his jewelry box. In 2014, John was the oldest player in attendance at a special event hosted by the Tiger Booster Club solely for the school’s past State and National Championship football players. After graduating high school in 1943, John went to the Big City to attend school at Columbia University. He laughed often about that crazy time and the difference between his home town and New York City. John was a stud playing both basketball and football for Columbia University. While there, he participated in a pilot program to test out the now standard “three point line” and was even photographed and named in a book called “Scientific Basketball”.
At the end of his first year at Columbia University, John was drafted to the United States Military and was off to Germany for a brief time, until the war ended in 1946. Upon his return, John decided to finish college closer to home in Ohio; he graduated from Kent State University where he majored in history (and later earned a master degree from University of Southern California Riverside. John went on to become a high school teacher. He typically taught history or math, but also taught PE and coached a variety of sports (he taught what he loved!). In 1953, John met the love of his life, JoAnn Malzhan (AKA Joanne) in Massillon Ohio. Joanne worked at a local market and John would stand in line with one item at a time to see and talk to her. The two began dating and John was so charming that he quickly stole her heart. In fact, Joanne was engaged to a soldier, but with John’s help she chose to end that engagement, and instead, she married John the following year on August 14, 1954.
In 1956, their first child, Jim, was born followed by Robbie in 1962. It was about that time when John and Joanne decided to move to California. In 1964, they packed up the car with the two boys and Joanne’s Aunt Lou, and headed west. They settled in Riverside where they soon added two girls to their team, Judi and Joanie. Final score tied: 2 girls 2 boys. In 1968 they upgraded to a bigger and better home in San Bernardino where they continued their life with Pop Warner football, Civitan baseball, and Highland Girls softball. It was a dream come true for John, and well, Joanne took one for the team… Their life began to come full circle when they became grandparents for the first time in 1981. From then on, the grandchildren seemed to come faster than you could name them. John and Joanne loved the children, and their motto was the more the merrier. They always had an open house and open heart to all kids, but especially those that needed an extra set of grandparents. Before long they were known by all (adults and children alike) as “Grandpa and Grandma” and holidays were always blessed with a full house and lots of love.
It was a sad time for the Profant family when Joanne passed away from an illness in 2008. They had been married for 54 years at the time of her death, so of course it was especially difficult on John. Shortly after her death, John moved to his youngest daughter’s home where he was able to live with several of his grandchildren while he redefined his life without his bride. Although it took him a while to adjust, he was never without a story, a smile, or a funny comment. In typical Grandpa fashion, he left us with a smile and message of inspiration… “When the Good Lord calls me home, I’m going to be watching over you and you’d better behave, because you know the right thing to do so if you misbehave, I’m going to come down and spank your butt!”
Viewing will be held from 4:00pm to 8:00pm on Thursday, May 23, 2019 at Montecito Cypress Chapel, 24145 Barton Road, Loma Linda, California. Chapel Service to be held at 10:00am on Friday, May 24, 2019 at Montecito Valley View Chapel, 3520 E. Washington Street, Colton, California. John will be laid to rest after the services at Montecito Memorial Park, 3520 E. Washington Street, Colton, California.
Fond memories and expressions of sympathy may be shared at www.montecitomemorialparkandmortuary.com for the Profant family.
- James Michael Profant, Son
- John Robert Profant, Son
- Judith Lynn Profant Adams, Daughter
- Joan Valle, Daughter
- Mr. Profant also leaves many grandchildren and great grandchildren to cherish his memory.
- Viewing jueves, 23 mayo , 2019
- Chapel Service viernes, 24 mayo , 2019
- Interment viernes, 24 mayo , 2019
22 mayo , 2019
22 mayo , 2019
18 mayo , 2019
I have so many wonderful memories of John from the time I was a small child. I loved him dearly! He loved life and everyone around him and he will be greatly missed. My thoughts and prayers are with all of you at this difficult time. Love to all!!