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John Najjar

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John Najjar Obituary
Najjar, John
Nov. 11, 1918 - Jan. 6, 2011

John Najjar, born Nov. 11, 1918 in Omaha, Neb., passed away on Jan. 6.
He is survived by two daughters, Linda of Colorado and Barbara Ramsey of Sarasota, Fla.; two grandchildren, Virginia (Charles) Martin and Jason (Tiffany Hrach) Ramsey; and one great-grandson, Elias Ramsey.
His wife Virginia preceded him in death.
In 1936 John joined Ford Motor Company's Apprentice School in Dearborn, Mich. While working a lathe, he was approached by Henry Ford during a plant tour who asked him if he enjoyed his work. John's response that he'd "rather be drawing cars" led to an invitation for him to add his talents to Ford's newly-created Design Center. John continued working as a designer for Ford for over 40 years. He worked with E. T. Gregorie, George Walker, Elwood Engel, Gene Bordinat and Lee Iacocca. For many years his work in centered on futuristic show cars whose features later appeared in many Ford, Lincoln and Mercury vehicles. John's Advanced Styling Studio developed the 1962 Mustang I concept car - so named because of his love for its namesake, the P-51 Mustang fighter plane. His design talents span decades - from work on the M4A3 Sherman tank and B-24 bomber in the 40s, the 1957-58 Lincoln Continentals, the XM-800, the soybean car, the LevaCar concept, the Gyron, Detroit's People Mover and Renaissance Center.
John and Virginia retired to Sarasota in 1985 where John was able to perfect his talent on the tennis court. They joined The Glenridge Community in 2004. They will both be remembered for the love and generous support they offered to family, friends and community and the beauty of their dancing.
Per John's wishes, no services will be held.
Memorial donations may be sent to Benson Ford Research Center, The Henry Ford, 20900 Oakwood Blvd., Dearborn, MI 48124-5029. www.thehenryford.org

Published in Herald Tribune from Jan. 12 to Jan. 13, 2011
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