John Richard Urquhart (1920 - 2014)

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John R. Urquhart

Cocoa Beach, FL

John Richard Urquhart, Jr., LT CMDR, US Navy Ret. passed away Saturday, August 9, 2014 at the age of 94 in Cocoa Beach. Born in Apopka, Fl on May 17, 1920, John was the eldest son of John and Ada (Lovell) Urquhart. John left Apopka to join the Navy shortly before the U.S. entered World War II. While serving in the Pacific, he witnessed the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor and went on to fight in major battles on various ships in the Pacific Fleet. He was most proud of having been a 'Plankowner' of BB58, the Battleship Indiana. (Plankowner is navy slang for those sailors who make up the first crew of a newly commissioned warship.) Cocoa Beach residents will remember BB58 cryptically displayed on the license plate of John's cars.

John went on to make a career of service in the Navy, in the area of cryptology, distinguishing himself as a 'Mustang', one of those rare enlisted men who rise through the ranks from seaman, to non-commissioned officer, to commissioned officer. John began his career as a seaman and retired 30 years later with the rank of Lieutenant Commander. After his retirement he was an active member of the NCVA - the US Navy Cryptologic Veterans Association. While serving in the Navy in Washington, D.C., John met a young Wave, Willie Juanita Yates, who would become his wife of 67 years.

John is survived by Willie; sons, John and Bill, their wives, Bryony and Diane, and grandchildren, Molly, Jennifer, Sean, Jessica, and Margaret. His sole remaining sibling, Jean Youngman, resides in Zellwood, FL.

John was an avid traveler and camper. With Willie and the boys he explored the British Isles, much of Europe, and the Middle East--always in red and white, two-tone Ford Station wagons.

John retired to Merritt Island in 1970 and moved to Cocoa Beach in 1991 where he and Willie became long-term residents of Stonewood condominiums. John served Stonewood as President of the Association for many years.

John was a devoted family man--nothing pleased him more than spending time with his family, especially his grandchildren. He will be sorely missed.

There will be a celebration of John's life at Stonewood Condominium Community Center, Saturday, August, 16th at 12 noon. Friends and family are invited to attend. You may sign John's guestbook at


Funeral Home
Beckman Williamson Funeral Home
101 North Brevard Avenue
Cocoa Beach, FL 32931
(321) 784-0116
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Published in FLORIDA TODAY on Aug. 13, 2014
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