John C. Person, 86, of Paris died Monday, April 10, 2017 in Fayetteville. He was born to Harry and Mildred (Lindstrom) Person on January 16, 1931 in Burdick, Kan.
In the early 1940’s, John, along with his parents moved to Calico Rock which was then followed by another move in the mid-40’s to Ratcliff. He graduated from Ratcliff High School in 1950.
After high school, he joined the Arkansas Army National Guard, whereupon he was called to active duty to serve his country two years in the Korean War. He survived the surprise attack when the Chinese Army moved into northern Korea.
After serving in Korea, John moved to Wichita where he worked for Beech Aircraft. While there he acquired his pilot’s license and obtained an Aroinca Champ airplane. He, like many of those older pilots, often landed in places unannounced and in pastures without the farmer’s permission. One such time was when he landed in a field west of White City, Kan., walked into town to visit his uncle, aunt and cousin for a simple afternoon visit. After the visit, they drove him out and watched him depart back to Wichita. There probably were some cattle that day that found another pasture … not by their willful design.
Apparently, working at Beech was not, as we proverbially say, “his cup of tea.” So in 1953, he enlisted in the Air Force in which he served for 20 years retiring Dec. 31, 1972. He attained the rank of Master Tech Sergeant. One of his prime tasks, while in the Air Force, was listening in on the Russians from northern Japan or from Shimea Island (Aleution Islands) of Alaska. Most of his work was of the classified nature.
Upon his retirement, he moved back to Paris where he had bought a home for his parents. In the years following, he cared for them until their deaths.
Cousin John, as his family called him, was an unpretentious man who quietly lived out his life by occasionally coming to Kansas to visit his cousins and friends in both the Abilene and Burdick area. However, most of his time was visiting the coffee ‘shops’ and going out to his 80 acre from where he puttered about.
John was a reservoir of knowledge as evidenced by our visits when he regaled us with historical facts from the war, about the region around Paris in which he spent hours traveling, crossing streams and making us wonder if we were thoroughly lost.
John was preceded in death by his parents and his sister, Betty.
He is survived by his cousins, Elaine Norman of Herington, Kan. and Dick Person of Council Grove, Kan. and other extended cousins and friends.
There was a memorial service at Shaffer Funeral Home in Ozark on April 18, 2017 with pastor Stan Norman presiding. His urnment was at the Swedish Mission Cemetery near Burdick, Kan. on April 20, 2017 with pastor Deb Wiles conducting a short service.
Memorials have and can be given to Fisher House which is a program to provide housing for military and veteran’s families can stay at no cost while their loved one is receiving treatment.