John William Mahan 71, went to his eternal home on Friday, Oct. 19, 2012. John was born August 29, 1941, in Houston, Arkansas, the second of five children born to Basil Mahan and Thelma Parks. He was a young boy when his family moved to California for his father to work. While living in Thorn, he attended South Fork High School, and it was there that he met the love of his life, Diane Goodner. They were married in Eureka on February 28, 1959. Soon after the wedding, John left for basic training in the Air Force and was later stationed in Florida. After being honorably discharged, John and Diane returned to California, and they lived in Caspar where John worked in the meat department at Safeway. During this time, daughters Sherri and Tami were born. The family eventually returned to Humboldt County where John worked for a time as a butcher. To better provide for his growing family, which now included son Kenny and daughter Vicki, John began working for Louisiana Pacific Lumber, doing cleanup and working the burner. He eventually worked his way up to Head Saw Filer. Three more children, daughter Kristi, son Mark, and daughter Lori, joined the family during this time. In 1979, John sustained severe injuries in an industrial accident, but he continued working until debilitating pain forced the end of his mill career in 1982. Daughter Kelli was born in 1983. John was one of the strongest men that you could ever meet. His giant hands were often extended to shake your hand or pull you into a warm embrace. He radiated friendship and could strike up a conversation with anyone that he came into contact with. John enjoyed hunting and was an extremely good shot. He also enjoyed the ocean and simply being outdoors. His family will remember him for his great sense of humor no matter how tough the circumstances and for the pride that made his eyes sparkle when he spoke about them. We will remember his ready and hearty laughter over good jokes and the special times shared at family gatherings. Grandchildren will miss being teased and entertained by Papa and will remember him for the joyful happiness he showed as he visited and spent time with them. One of his greatest legacies to his family is that he was a man of great faith in God. John is survived by his wife of 53 years, Diane; daughter and son-in-law Sherri and Vernon Sharp; daughter and son-in-law Tami and Roger Van Hoy; son and daughter-in-law Kenneth and Jill Mahan; daughter and son-in-law Vicki and Rogan Rice; daughter and son-in law Kristi and Fred Baker; son and daughter-in-law Mark and Mandy Mahan; daughter and son-in-law Lori and Robert Ewing; daughter Kelli Mahan; grandchildren Danielle and John Michael Sharp; Daniel Davis and Amber Ricondo; Brandon, Michaela, Ethan and Jasmine Rice; Trevor, Cody, and Hali Colina; Karra and Keira Mahan; Alesha and Robby Ewing; Jonathan and Amanda Mahan-Vaughn; and great-grandchildren Francisco, Gillian, Hunter, Madison, Alexander, Gabby, and Braeden. He was preceded in death by his parents and siblings Marion, Ray, James, and Virginia. John was a wonderful husband, father, and grandfather. He will be dearly missed by the family who loved him so much. A memorial service is planned for a later date. Cremation was handled by Gobel's Mortuary in Fortuna. Those wishing to do so may make donations to the Mahan Memorial Fund at any Wells Fargo Bank branch. Please sign the guest book at www.Times-Standard.com, click obits.
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Published in Eureka Times-Standard from Oct. 30 to Oct. 31, 2012