OBITUARY

John William Myers

September 29, 1945June 5, 2021

John William Myers went to his maker on June 5, 2021. He was born in September 1945 in Indianapolis. He was a devoted son, brother, husband, father, stepfather, Papa, uncle, friend, counselor, and advocate. Everyone who knew John loved him. He was a good person who always tried to do the right thing.

A 1963 graduate of Lawrence Central High School, John was his class president and excelled in athletics and academics. He received a B.S. degree in Industrial Management & Statistics from Purdue University where was a member of the Phi Kappa Sigma fraternity. John enlisted in the United States Army in 1968 where he served with the United Nations Command, U.S. Army Support Group, Panmunjom, Korea. After leaving the Army, John returned to academics and earned a M.S in Education and Counseling as well as Graduate Certification in Public Administration from Indiana University. Most of John’s professional career was dedicated to public service and caring for others. For over 30 years, he worked in Vocational Rehabilitation & Employment for the Department of Veterans Affairs, where he counseled, guided, and supported the lives of countless veterans and their families.

Even in retirement, his service and advocacy continued. He volunteered and was a board member for several organizations, including the American Legion Post and Partners in Housing. John was a vocal advocate for veterans as well as for equity and inclusivity. In the 80s and 90s, John served the city of Indianapolis as Chairperson, Hearing Officer, and 20-year member on the Marion County Human Rights Commission and the Equal Opportunity Advisory Board. He recently wrote a good reminder to us all: “Don't hesitate to speak out in favor of respect and empathy to our fellow human beings.”

The son of John F. and Alice Myers, Johnny Bill (JB) grew up in Lawrence. His big sister Sandra (Sandy) was someone who he never had a fight with – the two were always close. He also always loved Sandy’s husband Gary like a brother. He was the beloved Uncle John (UJ) to their children Tracy (David) and Patrick, as well as other chosen family.

John married MaryAnne in the year 2000, after many years of love and companionship. The two always enjoyed traveling and dancing together. With their union, John also became a foundation of love and support for her children and their partners/spouses: Ellen (Ryan), Karen (Greg), Tara (Peter), Shane (Kelly), Maureen (Lauren), and Erin (Mike). Later, he would become known as ‘Papa John’ to beloved grandchildren: Anna, Madeline, Aidan, Emerson, Lydia, Calvin, and Irene.

John was an extraordinarily kind and patient father. He was a single parent to his three children Evan, Eli, and Lindsay. They put him to the test over the years, but he constantly gave them his unwavering love. Lindsay married Damon, and in 2018, John’s grandson Felix John was born. Felix was John’s buddy, and even a global pandemic couldn’t keep them apart – the two spent a lot time on video calls playing harmonica together.

John was a friend and confidant to all who knew him. He was exceptional listener, a thoughtful orator, and an admirer of the written word. He loved poetry, music, travel, nature, and sports, especially his beloved Purdue Boilermakers. He often felt that there were few things more grounding than going outside at night and looking at the stars. He continued to be very active throughout his life, engaging in recreational sports. He found great joy for many years playing basketball with his buddies, the Freudian Slips. Later those guys were known as the ROMEOs – he treasured all his friendships.

A celebration of life will be scheduled later this summer. If you have any memories to share, pictures, videos, stories, musical connections, his family would love to gather them. Please send to: jwm1945memories@gmail.com.

John often said, “life is a not a competition; it’s a shared experience.” In lieu of flowers, please consider doing something nice for someone. Donations can also be made to Groundwork Indy or any organization that supports veterans, human rights, racial justice, or nature.

Memories

John William Myers

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Pam Woodley

June 11, 2021

I am Perry Mitchell's wife (his army buddy..see memorial below from Perry.) I also grew to love John after meeting him through Perry. In 2007, the three of us went back to Korea, where Perry and John had met, on a tour of some of their old haunts. We took a plane to China on the same trip. Perry can be a little tightly wound on trips - loath to dawdle and get behind schedule- so John and I spent much of the time looking for Perry's back ahead of us as we chatted and giggled and observed the surroundings. John never had a bad word for anyone and was always the definition of KIND. John's friendship always meant so much to Perry and to me.

Perry Mitchell

June 11, 2021

John and I entered the Army as total strangers on the same day, June 18, 1968. We soon became friends ... then good friends ... then best friends -- John was that kind of guy, someone you knew was a smart, kind, good person, through and through.
We both ended up in Panmunjom, Korea, where John was the Company clerk and I was, thanks to him, the Battalion clerk -- two Radars (remember that M.A.S.H. clerk character?). So we had a great time running JSA, our unit, and having lots of fun on our off hours. (The photo is us in our "civvies" at JSA in 1969.)
John was the best thing I got out of the Army, by far.
And for 51 years, we kept up our friendship, although I have always lived in Atlanta. We talked on the phone often, and always met on some getaway every year.
I'm missing him so much already.
My deepest sympathy to MaryAnne, Evan, Eli and Lindsay,
Perry Mitchell

Allan Ware

June 9, 2021

John was very instrumental with getting me hired in VRE, definitely my mentor as a new VRE employee; He was VRE’s office dad during his tenure as our supervisor and arguably my favorite boss. He treated everyone with respect and dignity. An advocate for wanting to serve Veterans and very well known within the Indianapolis community. I truly respected him and miss him already. My prayers and condolences are with his family.

Thomas Roundtree

June 9, 2021

John hired me for my first job in VA Voc Rehab. I had the opportunity and pleasure to to work for one of the strongest veteran advocates I've ever met. As your supervisor, John would walk into your office to speak to you about something; however, if your phone should ring, he expected you to pick it up, saying that could be one of your veterans with a question or a problem! Or John would instruct all of his counselors to respond to any veteran showing up at the reception area asking for them, even if they had no appointment!! I am quite sure that type of veteran response is not being taught now! Your caring and your leadership shall be missed, Mr. Myers

Kathy Harmon

June 8, 2021

Thank you John for your many years of service to Veterans. Your VRE leadership will always be a shining light. Thank you John’s family for sharing him with us.

Bill Micheli

June 8, 2021

It has been a pleasure to have known and been a friend of John over the years. He was truly a good guy. Good memories and Good times. My prayers and thoughts are with your family. Rest in Peace John! Bill Micheli

Robert Fitzgerald

June 7, 2021

I will miss my occasional Steak and Shake breakfast and lunch’s together during my visits to Indy each year. John was a special kind soul and took very good care of my sister. He is going to be missed.

Robert Walke

June 7, 2021

What I loved about John is that he would give you 100% of his attention and you always knew he was pulling for you. It made you smile when he was there.
The photos were taken in 2014 at the Indy 500 Parade. You can see John marching behind Jon Lawrence as these two Boilers celebrated their school's marching band, pretending they too were in the band parading down Meridian Stand.
Full disclosure. Jon Lawrence was having some balance issues when walking due to a medical condition and John was right behind him just in case he stumbled.
"BOILER UP!"

Amy Gibson (LaMar)

June 7, 2021

My prayers are with Lindsay and her family during this time.

I am so sorry for your loss Lindsay.

Maxine Lane

June 7, 2021

He was a charismatic humorist coworker. Prayers and condolences to his family.

FROM THE FAMILY