John Desmond Rovick, Jr 1919 - 2012 John Desmond Rovick, Jr. was born in Dayton, Ohio on October 2, 1919 to Ida Blue and John D. Rovick, Sr. He attended Longfellow Grade School until 1929 when he moved with his parents and sister Lucille to Detroit, Michigan. John continued schooling at Jackson Intermediate School and South Eastern High, entering Michigan State College in 1937. He graduated in 1941 with a B.A. degree majoring in speech/dramatics and radio broadcasting. In the summer of 1941 he started work as a staff announcer at WSPD in Toledo, Ohio. He was on air on Sunday December 7, 1941 when news came over the Teletype of the bombing of Pearl Harbor. He alerted the news department and station personnel and kept Ohio listeners informed of developments until news editors arrived. In February of 1942, John enlisted in the U.S. Army and was assigned to basic training in the radio operator school at Scott Field, Illinois, graduating as a Staff Sgt. He then went to air-gunnery school in Tyndall Field, Florida, where he was assigned to the 340th Bomb Group/489th Squadron in Columbia, South Carolina. He trained there in a B-25 Mitchell medium bomber and was promoted to Tech Sgt. He was then ordered to overseas duty in the Middle Eastern Theatre. In February of 1943, John, as radio operator and gunner in the plane "Stardust," flew with the rest of the five man crew to Africa where the met their ground echelon at the Suez canal. Combat missions were flown in Tunisia, Sicily, Italy and in areas throughout the Mediterranean Theatre. Having completed 50 bombing missions, he was awarded the Air Medal with eight-oak-leaf clusters, Victory Medal, Mid-East Medal, and a Presidential Unit citation. After the 41st mission the plane crash-landed in the sea. The crew was recommended for the Distinguish Flying Cross. Upon return to the U.S.A. John entered officer candidate training in Miami, Florida where he was commissioned 2nd Lt. Air Force. He completed his time in the service as a Special Service Officer assigned to Godman Field, Kentucky. While there, he met his future wife Jackie Macarthur. John returned to radio in Toledo and in 1947 John and Jackie were married. In 1948 they moved to California where he was hired in 1949 as a staff announcer at KTTV Channel 11. Subsequently, and for 18 years (1952 - 1970) he hosted a children's program as "Sheriff John." Among many other awards, he was honored in 1953 with an "Emmy" award for best children's program. John always loved music and some of his songs are still being sung today; e.g., "Birthday Polka" (put another candle on your birthday cake) and "Laugh and Be Happy". John also worked at KTTV as a staff announcer from 1949 - 1981 when he retired and moved to Boise, Idaho. In September of 1998, John was honored in Los Angeles at the 50th anniversary of the Emmy Awards. John took great joy and comfort in his faith and for many years attended Fellowship Baptist Church and Boise Friends Church where he was a regular lay reader of scripture and a vocalist. John was preceded in death by his parents and sister Lucille. Survivors include wife Jacqueline, of Glendale, California, daughters, Sandra Kaiser, Maricopa, Arizona, and Wendy Maceri, Northridge, California; grandchildren Robby, Kimberly, Gina, Michael, and Maggie; one great-grandchild Allison Peterson;and niece Luanne Koessel and nephews Bill and Gary Shryer. A funeral service will be held at 1:00 p.m. Thursday, October 11, 2012 at the Boise Friends Church - 7751 Goddard Road Boise, ID 83704. Burial will follow at Dry Creek cemetery with Military Honors.
Published in Idaho Statesman on October 9, 2012