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John R. "Jack" Champion, 84, of Flat Rock, passed away peacefully Dec. 12, 2012, safe in the arms of Jesus, at the Elizabeth House in Flat Rock following a brief illness.
He was born Aug. 3, 1928, in Paterson, N.J. to the late John Champion and Eva Kisner. He was also preceded in death by his stepfather, Joseph Iandoli, and his beloved brother-in-law, Paul Thompson, of Long Valley, N.J., who preceded him in death by three weeks.
A veteran of the Korean War, Mr. Champion was enlisted in the Army from 1949 to 1952. He served in the 24th Infantry as a Staff Sergeant in Korea and Japan and was the recipient of three Bronze Stars. He completed two years of college at Fairleigh Dickinson University in N.J. and retired from Exxon Chemical Co. in 1985, after 40 years of service in Transportation Management in New York City, Florham Park, N.J., and Houston, Texas.
Jack was a true ambassador for Christ. He loved being with his many church friends and was never hesitant about talking about the Lord to anyone he met. He had been active in church, serving in the past as an elder, teaching ESL and serving on many church committees. He also sang in the Joy Singers and was a volunteer at Crosswalk Youth Center and at the Habitat for Humanity Resale Store from 1994-2011.
He loved to sing and read and also enjoyed his many travels. In his younger days, he did target shooting, took flying lessons and once made a parachute jump.
Mr. Champion is survived by his loving wife of 36 years, Ruth; his half-sister, Jeanne Wegmann and her husband, Paul, of Newton, N.J.; his sister-in-law, Birgit Thompson, of Long Valley, N.J., and nephews and nieces living in N.J., Pa., Vt., and Colo. He was much loved by all who knew him and will be sorely missed.
A Celebration of Jack's life will be held at 11 a.m., Saturday, Jan. 19, 2013, in the Chapel of Hendersonville First Baptist Church. The Rev. Wally Shamburger will officiate. Interment took place earlier at Indiantown Gap National Cemetery for veterans in Annville, Pa.
The family wishes to thank Pardee Hospital, Hendersonville Health and Rehab., and the Elizabeth House for their loving care.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Samaritan's Purse, P.O. Box 3000, Boone, N.C. 28607.
To sign the online register book, visit www.shulerfuneralhome.com.
Shuler Funeral Home is assisting the family with arrangements.
Published in The Times-News from Jan. 17 to Jan. 18, 2013