John Louden died in Boise, Idaho, on May 11, 2012, at age 91. He was a colorful, creative character. Throughout his life, he worked hard, had fun and loved people. Known as "Popa" to his grandkids, he will be missed by all of his family.
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John was born on March 25, 1921, in Mangere, New Zealand, in the farm country outside of Auckland. After a rough childhood he left home at age 15 and went to work as a hired hand for a young man that had a farm. The man was like an older brother to John; taught him many things, took him to local dances where John learned to dance and where he met his first wife, Margaret. He and Margaret later would host parties with dancing in their home.
John served in WWII in the New Zealand army and in 1949, John and Margaret came to the U.S. with their daughter, Jeanne. He became a builder and built many homes around the San Francisco Bay Area for more than 30 years. He built a unique, hillside home in Marin County, north of the Golden Gate Bridge, that became the family home for Jeanne and her family. The home became the location for many holiday meals, with John in the kitchen helping with the cooking. John loved to cook and continued to cook throughout his life for family and friends. John and Margaret lived near their family and spent a lot of time with their grandchildren. His wife Margaret died in 1980.
John met his second wife, Marilyn Cunningham, in California before retiring together to Gem County, Idaho, where they had a large garden and, at times, chickens, sheep, a horse and always their beloved dogs. Marilyn spent time reading and writing and John spent time painting oil landscapes and seascapes. John became part of Marilyn's family in Idaho, getting to know several generations of the Carlock family. In their first years in Idaho, they split their time between Boise and Ola before moving to Sweet full time where they worked together on their home and garden and enjoyed entertaining and welcoming their families from far to visit and stay in their home.
John is preceded in death by his wife, Marilyn; his daughter, Jeanne; and one grandson, John Graves.
He is survived by his grandchildren, James Graves of Napa, Calif. (Glynda); Thomas Graves of San Anselmo, Calif. (Courtney); and Margaret Williams of San Mateo, Calif. (Michael); and great-grandchildren, Alison, Sienna, Georgia, Spencer and Annie.
A celebration gathering to remember John and to tell stories about his colorful life will be held at the Triangle Restaurant near Sweet, Idaho, at 4:30 p.m. on Friday, June 1, 2012. Family and friends are welcome.
Published in Emmett Messenger Index from May 21 to June 20, 2012