OBITUARY

John C. Church Sr.

July 5, 1940November 21, 2021

John C. Church Sr., age 81, passed away on November 21, 2021. He was the loving husband of Rachel Church for 60 years. The beloved father of John (Mary Kay) Jr., Michelle Galloway, Brian (Maria), and Pamela (Thomas) Lamb. The cherished grandpa of Melissa (Braden) Hernandez, Rachel Galloway, Alexandria Galloway, John Church III, Travis Church, Harper Church, Claire Church, Patrick Lamb, and Thomas Lamb. The dear brother of Jacqueline Andrews, Barbara Sennett, and the late Harold Church. He is also survived by many nieces and nephews.

John enlisted in the Marine Corps from Detroit and rose through the ranks to retire from his beloved Corps as a colonel. John was Naval Flight Officer. He logged 550 combat missions as a Radar Intercept Officer in the F-4 Phantom. He served during the Vietnam War and was a highly decorated Marine combat veteran. John received many honors including the Legion of Merit, the Distinguished Flying Cross, a Purple Heart, Meritorious Service Medal, Air Medal with Strike Flights 39, the Navy Commendation Medal, the Navy Achievement Medal with Combat “V” (and star in lieu of second award), the Combat Action Ribbon, the Navy Unit Commendation, the Good Conduct Medal, the National Defense Service Medal, the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, the Vietnam Service Medal with three Stars, the Sea Service Deployment Ribbon, the Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross with Palm Unit Citation, the Republic of Vietnam Actions Unit Citation, and the Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal.

John made history when he became the very first Naval Flight Officer in the Marine Corps to command a Marine Corps fighter jet squadron. He ended his active duty career as the Commanding Officer of Marine Wing Support Group-47 at Selfridge Air National Guard Base. He also served as the Head of Leadership Studies and the Director of the Navy JROTC Program at Murray-Wright High School in Detroit, not too far from where he grew up. After retirement, John enjoyed being with his wonderful bride, Rachel, and his loving family. He enjoyed golfing, fishing, and watching his favorite Detroit sports teams – both when they were champions or dismal.

Visitation for John will take place on Monday, November 29, 2021 and Tuesday, November 30, 2021 from 3:00 to 8:00 pm at Resurrection Funeral Home, 40800 Hayes Road in Clinton Township. A Funeral Mass will be held on Wednesday, December 1, 2021 at 10:00 am at St. Thecla Catholic Church, 20740 S Nunneley Road in Clinton Township. Friends may visit church beginning at 9:30 am.

In lieu of flowers, memorials are appreciated to the Semper Fi & America’s Fund, 825 College Blvd, Suite 102, PMB 609, Oceanside, CA 92057.

Fond memories and expressions of sympathy may be shared at www.resurrectionfuneralhome.com for the Church family.

  • FAMILY

  • Rachel Church, Wife
  • John (Mary Kay) Church Jr., Son
  • Michelle Galloway, Daughter
  • Brian (Maria) Church, Son
  • Pamela (Thomas) Lamb, Daughter
  • Melissa (Braden) Hernandez, Granddaughter
  • Rachel Galloway, Granddaughter
  • Alexandria Galloway, Granddaughter
  • John Church III, Grandson
  • Travis Church, Grandson
  • Harper Church, Granddaughter
  • Claire Church, Granddaughter
  • Patrick Lamb, Grandson
  • Thomas Lamb, Grandson
  • Jacqueline Andrews & Barbara Sennett, Sisters
  • the late Harold Church, Brother
  • Also survived by many Nieces & Nephews
  • DONATIONS

  • Semper Fi & America's Fund

Services

29 November

Visitation

3:00 pm - 8:00 pm

Resurrection Funeral Home

40800 Hayes Road
Clinton Township, MI 48038

30 November

Visitation

3:00 pm - 8:00 pm

Resurrection Funeral Home

40800 Hayes Road
Clinton Township, MI 48038

1 December

In State

9:30 am - 10:00 am

St. Thecla Catholic Church

20740 S Nunneley Rd
Clinton Township, MI 48035

1 December

Funeral Mass

10:00 am - 11:00 am

St. Thecla Catholic Church

20740 S Nunneley Rd
Clinton Township, MI 48035

Memories

John C. Church Sr.

have a memory or condolence to add?

ADD A MEMORY
Callie Jordan-Smith

November 29, 2021

Col. Church made a very HUGE impact in my life. He saw in me what I could not see. He pushed me to be my best. Not once was he not available to listen to my concerns, especially when my brother died. He was there to lend a shoulder to cry/scream on. He made school enjoyable. I am a better person for having him in my life. My condolences to his family!

KENNETH SULLIVAN

November 29, 2021

My memories of John go back to 1947. I met John i n the second grade at St. Francis de Sales in Detroit. He was my first real best school friend and the friendship extended to his twin sister Jacqueline. I will always remenber John as a care-free fun loving boy who grew into manhood and brought honor and respect to his Marine career and the family that he loved.
Rest in Peace , John and may the Good Lord's Grace Shine Upon You.
Ken Sullivan

Victoria Josey

November 26, 2021

This man changed my life for the better in more ways then one. I was not a good child growing up. I really believe I would never be anything but in 1994 I entered his classroom, not knowing how to read or even speak as I should. He would always let me know I could be someone, not him of course, but someone. He was the first person to tell me that. From that day on I worked as hard as I could to live up to his words. Because of him I live today, I joined the navy, got my degree and became a teacher so that I could give other children what he gave me. The stories he would tell us and the hope he had for all of his students go beyond words. Thank You

Matt Jordan

November 24, 2021

Dear Church Family,
Doc, to you, your mother and family, our thoughts and prayers are with you. Mary and I send our love.
Matt Jordan

Denis Shortal

November 24, 2021

John "Sparrow" .... Thank you for always being a Marine's Marine! You served our Country with dignity. I can see you, Walsh, Lohnes Hurst, Corson, etc are sitting around a camp fire on "Heavens Scenes' sharing a lot of stories and laughs. Save me a spot in the "Big Platoon!"
Semper Fidelis, Shorts "Champagne"

William ( Spider) Nyland

November 24, 2021

John, thank you for your great and lengthy service to Corps and country. You will live in my heart forever. God Bless and Semper Fidelis, Spider

Candy Kirchner

November 23, 2021

Dear Church Family,
I only had the pleasure of meeting John at Harry’s Service at Great Lakes National Cemetery. He was dressed in full uniform and a very handsome fellow.
I am very sorry for your loss, I’m sure he is reminiscing in Heaven with his fellow Marine and Baby Brother.
Rest In Peace Mr. Church and Thank You for your Service ….♥️

Candy Kirchner

FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY