John ‘JW’ McFadden

John William McFadden, 93, passed away on Thursday, Sept. 20, 2018. He was born July 18, 1925 in Wichita, KS to William Ruthvan and Dorothy Lulu (Olsen) McFadden. One of seven children, John went to schools in Kansas, Texas, and California as his family moved from state to state.  

He graduated from Los Angeles Metropolitan High School, and later earned a degree in mechanical engineering at Cal Poly in Pomona, California.  

On July 16, 1943 John enlisted in the U. S. Coast Guard as an apprentice seaman.  He served alongside U. S. Navy personnel in the Pacific during World War II and survived the Battle of Leyte Gulf.  John received his honorable discharge from the Coast Guard on October 4, 1945 as Fireman First Class.

John was united in marriage to Cornette Davis on July 3, 1971 in Sun City, Arizona.  They were blessed with four sons and one daughter. John and Cornette made their home in the Phoenix area until 1989, when John retired, and they moved to Stella, Nebraska.

John had driven a home delivery truck for Hellman’s as a young man.  After receiving his college degree, he worked at International Harvester and Gilbert Pump. John then became an agent for State Farm Insurance, and helped many families, individuals, and businesses with their insurance needs before retiring after 38 years with the company.

In addition to being a member of the Greatest Generation, John was a man of many interests.  He was an avid sailor and pilot who could fix anything.  He was an ardent tinkerer and loved his workshop and finding good stuff others had discarded.  He had been a member of the BPOE Elks, served as a lifeguard at the YMCA, and received an award from the Red Cross for the amount of blood he donated for others.  John and Cornette also traveled extensively across the States and internationally.

After a diagnosis of cancer, John fought his last battle against the disease.  With the help of Cornette, other family, and friends he was able to stay at is home in Stella. 

He was preceded in death by his brothers Bob, Harry, and George, and sister Dorothy.

Those left to remember his special ways include his wife Cornette of Stella; sons and daughter-in-law Mark, Vance, Brett, all of Phoenix, AZ; Brian and Katherine of Sacramento, CA; daughter and son-in-law Stephanie and Tom Kernaghan of Gilbert, AZ; grandchildren Kelly, Scott, Brittney, Allison, Brianna, Georgia, Max, Sam, and Andy; great-grandchildren Michael, Conner, Landon, Finnley, Rhea, Justus, Ryker, Lucy, and Pearl; sisters Shirley Wiss of Yucca Valley, CA; Mary Brown of Houston, TX; other relatives and friends.

John’s body was cremated, and a Celebration of Life will be at a later date, followed by burial at sea.

Services are entrusted to Hemmingsen Funeral Home of Auburn.

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