Last Updated: 02/10/2015
Last Review: 02/10/2015
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Big John was in the Training Center when I hired in in Sept. of 97. I was the first one hired in that year and the only one at the time, so all the training was one on one. What a special guy. I can say for sure I never met a better person at the plant, or maybe anywhere else. Sincere condolences to family and friends.
~ Bruce Dorland - April 23, 2020
My Dad, Jim Rayls, worked with Big John many years ago at Goodyear. I remember the first time I met Big John as he came by our house to see my Dad and I answered the door when he knocked. Dad said he laughed so hard when he saw me. at about 5 years old, look up, and up, and up some more, then I slammed the door and ran to my Dad and said, "Daddy, there's a giant at the door!" Dad went and opened the door and both men laughed and laughed. Turned out, Big John was a really nice giant...hehehe!!! Our thoughts and prayers are with your family at this time. My Dad passed away in 1987, and is missed still every day... May God bless you all.
~ Jo Lorson - April 20, 2020
I remember Big John from the early 80's when he was installing equipment for the Steel Trak project at Goodyear. He had a quick wit and always had something to say. He was an excellent mechanic and a very hard worker. He would kid around with you and always had a quick wit. I always enjoyed working with him.
I am sorry for his passing. I would like to express my sympathy to his wife, family, and many friends.
~ Tom Shepard - April 20, 2020
Had many good times going to summer camp with John and working with him at goodyear. He was a good friend.
~ daryl harrop - April 20, 2020
I am sorry to hear about John's passing.
~ Diana Sutphen - April 20, 2020
I had worked with John while at Goodyear. Very nice man and was always a joy.
~ Larry Heilman - April 19, 2020
Sorry for your lost. He will be missed by a lot of people. I always like working with John at Goodyear and visiting with him after he retired.
~ Ray Kirk - April 19, 2020
Big John was a Great Guy, and even better co worker. it was my honor to have known him, and worked with him. God got a Great one when he received John into his arms. I was Saddened to hear of John's passing.... But I know he is Looking down upon us all, with that Great Big Smile.. RIP Big John. May God Bless your Family in this time of Need..
~ Bruce Couch - April 19, 2020
Our prayers of comfort to Anita and the family. Memories go a long way back to our sons Boy Scout days. Big John is right in every way. Big heart, Big love, Big caring for others.
He was the first one I thought of when this Covid19 virus put us on limited touching, etc. I often ran into John at Dillons and we always shared a hug, chatted and departed with another hug and an assurance we’d pray for each other and our cancer. When I was facing surgery, he contacted other gals who had similar surgery and had them contact me. What a thoughtful thing to do. I so appreciated it.
I can cross him off my prayer list now. He doesn’t need me any more. I know he is walking great now, without the grocery cart! ??
He will be missed. Farewell Big John until we meet again.
~ Alan and Patty Barth - April 19, 2020
John was the sweetest man. He made everyone he talked to feel special. My kids loved him as a bus driver, and even after they moved on from elementary school, John would always give them hugs and ask them how they were doing. We genuinely loved him. He would literally brighten our day when we had the chance to talk to him after church. I will always cherish the memories I have of John. My condolences to his family, especially to Jenny, he always spoke so fondly of you. I feel truly blessed to have know him. May he rest in God’s peace and Jesus’s love forever in heaven!
~ Jenny VanLeeuwen - April 18, 2020
Big John was just that, Big Heart, Big Personality, Big Hugs. Whatever it was he left his mark. I met him when I started working with him at Seaman transportation and the love he showed and continued to share after he stopped being able to drive was undeniably pure. He is going to be missed so much
Until we meet again
Fly High Big John
~ Cindy Callahan - April 18, 2020
John was one of the first people I met at Goodyear. Always pleasent despite the hard time we have him. Since our retirements, have looked forward to his Facebook posts. John will be missed!
~ Paul Mills - April 18, 2020
Big John, a trusted friend to everyone, his heart was filled with love for everyone. Everyone enjoyed his his humor. If you said “BIG JOHN” and then paused he would always reply, “YES I AM” with a big smile. I worked with John at Goodyear.
~ Vic Bergin - April 18, 2020
Big John and I go way back to my early days working at Goodyear. He was an excellent mechanic, although I told him otherwise. He was a pleasure to be around, always laughing and poking fun at others around him. After each “short” joke he directed my way, I would tell him he wasn’t funny. He was a good mentor and confidante but I told him that I really didn’t want to hear anything he had to say. This banter went on and on each day continuously growing into a strong bond between us that continued even after our days together at Goodyear were over. I have other stories to tell about John that require an audience to do them justice. I think that I will hold those in my heart until I can share them again with my friend. We have lost one of the good ones!
~ Dennis D’Orvilliers - April 18, 2020
Sorry to hear of Johns passing. I worked with John at Goodyear. He always had a great sense of humor and was fun to work with.
~ Mark Pruett - April 17, 2020
John had a big heart and was such a kind soul. He loved the kids he met while working for Seaman. He was especially kind to our special needs great granddaughter, Bailee, who rode home with me on my bus route for several years. I always took her to the bus barn to meet the other drivers and John took a special interest in her, watching her learn and grow, always going out of his way to find unusual treats for her and he always made her feel special. We will never forget the love and kindness he showed her. He will be missed by many. Called home far too soon.
~ Jim Dechand - April 17, 2020
John's Wife and Family. Sorry to read about the passing of John. I knew John when he worked for USD 345, John was a kind and respectful person. John will be missed in the North Topeka Community. Your families are in our thoughts and prayers in this difficult time in life.
~ Rick Cyr - April 17, 2020
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