Mortensen, PhD, John A.
Leesburg, FL: John A. Mortensen, 85, of Leesburg, Florida went to be with his Lord and Savior at the Cornerstone Hospice house in Tavares, FL, June 16, 2014. Dr. Mortensen was born May 11, 1929 in San Antonio, Texas to parents Ernest and Velma Mortensen. John was a Research Professor for the University of Florida in the field of Plant Genetics for 30 years. He was well known in Florida and around the country for his research in grape propagation, and produced Florida's first seedless grape. He was inducted into the Florida Agriculture Hall of Fame in 1993.
John began his early agricultural career in Texas at an experiment station that his father managed. Later, he entered Texas A&M where he earned his Bachelor's and Master's degrees in horticulture. During the Korean War, John was a First Lieutenant stationed in Brooklyn on the docks. Because of his grandmother's persistent prayers for his safety, each order that came for his deployment was rescinded. Following his Army discharge, he spent two years in Jordan, visiting his parents, and also taught English to Jordan's military personnel. In 1952, he entered Cornell University and earned his PhD in plant breeding. It was during this time that he met his wife, Dorothy (Dottie) and their love for each other has continued to flourish through their 57 years of marriage as God has blessed them.
For over 30 years, John and his wife held weekly church services in area nursing homes under direction of Leesburg First Baptist Church where they have been members for many years. John was a gentle, godly, loving and smiling man to all, and his family and friends were his treasures.
He is survived by his wife, Dorothy; daughter, Cynthia; brother, James; and grandson, Kevin Flinn (Jessica). He was preceded in death by his parents, Ernest and Velma Mortensen; brother, Charles; and sister, Marie Stockwell.
Funeral services will be held on Wednesday, June 25, 2013 at 3:00 PM at Page-Theus Funeral Home, Leesburg, FL with a visitation to be held from 2:00 PM until the hour of the service. On line condolences and memories may be shared by visiting www.pagetheusfuneralhome.com|
Published in Ithaca Journal on June 21, 2014