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John M. Trowbridge

1932 - 2014 | Obituary Condolences
John M. Trowbridge Obituary
Trowbridge, John M. 05/12/1932 ~ 01/06/2014 MORAGA, CA -- John, a resident of San Diego from 1978 to 2012, died peacefully on January 6, 2014, at his home in Moraga, CA, after a long battle with Parkinson's disease. John is survived by his beloved wife of 60 years, Betty J. Trowbridge, his older brother Douglas Trowbridge (Patsy), his four children, Stephen Trowbridge (Ronnie), Jeffery Trowbridge (Linda), Michael Trowbridge (Barb), and Laura Soby (Charles), and eleven grandchildren, David, Sarah, Brian, Daniel, Patrice, Annie, Rachel, Matthew, Cassie, Emily and Andrew. John took credit for all eleven grandchildren, after composing and singing a song to his four, then married, but childless children, entitled "Wouldn't it be Grand to have a Grandchild?" John was born in Orange, NJ, to Harrison and Ragna Trowbridge, who accompanied John and Betty to San Diego (where Ragna lived to be 101, celebrating her 100th birthday on the Bahia Belle in Mission Bay). John graduated from UCLA with a degree in engineering. He then married Betty, his elementary school sweetheart and next door neighbor from Oklahoma City, OK. After a stint in the Army, he worked as an engineer for several years, moving the family to Denver, CO. While in Colorado, John bought into Regional Sales Company, becoming a manufacturer's representative and traveling the Western U.S. to sell mining and hardware equipment and products. He had two wonderful partners in such business, Al Roth, who predeceased him, and Fred Fankell, who still resides in Colorado. After raising his children in Colorado and sending them off to college and graduate school, John took his wife and moved to Mission Bay. He spent many happy years with Betty in a condo over- looking the Bay, creating an ideal vacation spot for visiting children and grandchildren. Grandpa (or "Poppy" to some of his grandchildren) could be counted on for a golf outing, a trip to Sea World, and lots of ocean time. John surfed into his 70s at Mission Beach. John loved to learn new things and to improve existing skills. He was a longtime member of Toastmasters and took singing lessons. One of his family's most enduring memories is John singing O Holy Night as a solo in church on Christmas Eve. John believed in knowing everyone's name and in a firm handshake. After retirement, John took guitar and Spanish lessons. He and Betty were avid golfers, frequenting most of San Diego's golf courses. John was active in churches in Colorado and San Diego, serving in leadership roles and singing with the choirs. He and Betty volunteered weekly at the Presbyterian Crisis Center (now PUM) in San Diego and cooked and served many meals at Point Loma Presbyterian Church's Ocean Beach Soup Kitchen. John was an Eagle Scout, as were all three of his sons and two of his grandsons. John loved to jog and never passed a dog that did not want to follow him home. He battled Parkinson's disease valiantly, undergoing Deep Brain Stimulation ("DBS") surgery, joining Parkinson's support groups, and singing with the "Tremble Cleffs." John, Dad, Grandpa, and Poppy, thanks for giving yourself to us. We miss you!
Published in U-T San Diego on Jan. 26, 2014
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