John M. Hoover
12 entries | 1 photo
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August 25, 1937
February 5, 2014
John was born in San Francisco, CA. He was the 4th of 5 children; Jimmy, Joyce, Sally, Johnny and Judy. The Hoover's moved to Northern Nevada for medical reasons.
Before John was old enough to start school he would go to work with his father collecting scrap metal from mines around the area. Thus the beginning of Hoover and Sons Construction Company, which evolved into an earth moving company. As John got older, his after school responsibility was to see that the equipment was fueled and ready to go for the next day's work.
John graduated from Reno High School and went to work with his father and brother-in-law, Arnold Etcheberry. Around this time he also joined the Navy Reserve, where he worked as a CB constructing bomb sights. In the late 50's he had an opportunity to work in Greenland and was gone for a year. When he returned to Reno he went back to work in the family business. This is about the time John joined the YMCA where he met a group of guys who were learning Judo, this became a life long passion of his. As there were no instructors in Reno the guys would go to Northern California to learn from the masters as well as compete. John eventually attained his 3rd degree black belt and became an instructor at the YMCA.
In the early 60's John met and married his wife, Sue, a union that lasted for over 52 years. They had two sons, Jon (Tami and Joshua) and Eric (Logan). John was an excellent father, he had the ability to teach without being critical, encouraging the boys to try new things and was always at every event that they participated in. He was a pretty darn good husband too; there was a lot of hard work but a lot of fun as well.
Also in the early 60's , John started a course in Reflexology, which was actually the result of watching 2 of his Judo instructors, who were licensed Reflexologists, working on their students at tournaments. Because he was always asking questions they decided to train him in the art. It took him 4 years of weekend trips to CA to get his certification. This led to an interest in Massage Therapy. He left construction, went to Portland, OR to massage school for a year and became a licensed Massage Therapist. Unfortunately, there was not much of a demand for practitioners at that time and John went back to construction, eventually running heavy equipment for Helm's Construction Co. and doing Reflexology and Massage Therapy in the evening and on weekends.
At the time there were no regulations for Massage Therapy in NV and John was on the committee that wrote the regulations for the state. He served on the 1st board of Massage Therapists as well.
In the mid 80's John was diagnosed with Parkinson's and over time was forced to stop operating heavy equipment and went to running man lifts on high rise buildings; including the Fitzgerald, Silver Legacy, Harrah's, the Peppermill and The Nugget. After 40+ years in construction John took a disability retirement as the work was too demanding. He continued his Reflexology/Massage Therapy as he could do this as his strength allowed.
Not one to sit around, we started traveling. A trip to see the fall foliage in the east, off to Alaska, a river boat trip up the Columbia, a tour around South America on a ship, a land tour of eastern Canada and the Maritime Islands, a trip through the Panama Canal, a river boat Tour of Europe from Amsterdam to the Black Sea and finally trains of Colorado.
Unfortunately, the Parkinson's began to affect John's mind and in the late 2010 he was placed at Emeritus of Reno where despite the excellent care he was receiving, John lost his battle with this devastating disease.
No flowers please, if you are so inclined and would like to make a donation in John's name, the family suggests Parkinson's Research or any Hospice program locally.
There will be a Memorial Service at the Seventh Day Adventist Church at 7125 West 4th St. in Reno on Saturday, March 1st, 2014 at 3:00pm.
Please come and remember this wonderful man.
Ross, Burke & Knobel, Reno
2155 Kietzke Lane Reno, NV 89502
Published in Reno Gazette-Journal on Feb. 23, 2014