John "Abe" Abraham Studebaker
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December 28, 1930 - June 4, 2014
John was a hardworking man who loved others well and was devoted to his family and friends; a stranger was just a friend he hadn't met. John loved to travel (visited over 60 countries and all 50 States); raise, show, and judge Samoyed dogs; golf; plant and care for his gardens and Christmas trees; but mostly, he loved to spend time with his family and friends.
Born to Samuel and Marie (Shroyer) Studebaker of Cincinnati, Ohio, John grew up on Studebaker Road, Tipp City, Ohio. He attended 12 years at Bethel Local schools, the same schools that his parents and grandfather attended.
Graduating from the Ohio State University in1953, John earned a degree in agriculture. At OSU, he was President of Alpha Gamma Rho fraternity, active in many campus organizations, and voted by fellow classmen as Most Outstanding Man on Campus in 1952. John entered the U.S. Air Force in September 1953 as a 2nd Lieutenant and was sent to Korea where he commanded a large Base Supply operation. Following the war, in March 1955, he returned to OSU on a fellowship in AgEconomics. John immediately met a beautiful, blonde, part-time secretary and speech pathology student, JoAnne Morley, whom he married on March 18, 1956. After graduating with a Masters in Economics of Farm Management in June 1956, he managed several farms around Columbus, OH, before moving to Richland, MI, in 1956 to manage the Upjohn farms.
John had a strong work ethic, and continued to work until just a few days before his death. For the Upjohn Company, he became Director of International Animal Health, and President and CEO of Asgrow Seed Company (1980-86) (both Upjohn subsidiaries). His career then evolved to President of Agrigenetics Seed Company, a subsidiary of Lubrizol Corporation (1986-91); President of Mycogen Seed Company (1991-1993); Nucelus, LLC, Board of Directors; and Chairperson, Cibus Global, Board of Directors (2002 to 2014).
John was a Samoyed breeder since the 1970s. His kennel, Windy Ridge Samoyeds, produced a large number of champions, including the Number One Samoyed in the US, with additional dogs ranked nationally in the top 10 for the breed. He was President of the Kalamazoo Kennel Club and the American Kennel Club (AKC) Canine Health Foundation, Delegate to the AKC Committee on Canine Health, AKC Animal Genome Committee, and AKC Judge of Best in Show and all Working and Herding breeds, judging Samoyeds in the US, Canada, Taiwan, Spain, Australia, and New Zealand.
John was active in a number of community and national organizations: Gracespring Bible Church (current member); Richland Presbyterian Church (former member and Session Chair); Kalamazoo City Farmers (President); American Seed Trade Association (President); American Seed Research Foundation (President); and member of the USA National Committee on Plant Property Rights.
John is survived by his wife, JoAnne, and 3 Michigan State University graduates: Susan (Thomas) Vrobel of Richland, MI; Shirley Studebaker of Ketchum, ID; and John (Julie) Studebaker, Jr, of Richland, MI, and their granddaughter Jalynn Hall. Also survived by his grandchildren, MSU graduates Megan Vrobel (Arlington, VA), and Benjamin (Shannon) Vrobel (Kalamazoo, MI), expecting John's first great-granddaughter this fall.
Above all, John considered himself to be one of God's rescued sinners who felt unworthy of his salvation, but grateful for His Amazing Grace.
A memorial service will be held at Gracespring Bible Church, Richland, MI at 11:00 a.m. Monday, June 9, 2014. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Honor Flight Network (www.honorflight.org) or Hospice Care of Southwest Michigan (www.hospiceswmi.org). Arrangements by Parchment Redmond Funeral Home. 2300 East "G" Ave. Parchment, MI 49004 (269) 349-7735. www.redmondfuneralhomes.net
Redmond Funeral Home - Parchment
2300 E. G. Ave
Parchment, MI 49004
Published in Battle Creek Enquirer from June 5 to June 8, 2014