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John Howard Fletcher

1938 - 2018 Obituary Condolences
John Howard Fletcher Obituary
John Howard Fletcher

Tallahassee - John Howard Fletcher, 80, passed away on Monday, July 9, 2018, at Tallahassee Memorial Hospital after a brief illness.

Born in New York City on June 16, 1938, John moved with his family at an early age to Melbourne, Florida, where he graduated from high school in 1956 and joined the U.S. Navy that same year. He served as a radioman on the island of Eleuthera in the Bahamas monitoring Soviet Union submarine communications. After four years of active duty he returned to Eleuthera as a civilian instrumentation specialist for the Radio Corporation of America (RCA), tracking rocket and guided missile launches downrange from Cape Canaveral. While working for RCA he had the opportunity to monitor communications from America's first manned space flight by Astronaut Alan Shepard on May 5, 1961.

John returned to Florida and began a career in banking and finance, working for General Finance Corporation (GFC) in central Florida before moving to Tallahassee in 1964 to open the GFC office there. He then worked for Eastern Airlines before taking a position with Ford Motor Credit Company in 1968, where he worked until Ford closed its Tallahassee office in 1985. He continued working in the financial industry, first with Greentree Acceptance and then for over 10 years at Sunshine State Credit Union, where he served as vice president for lending services before his retirement in 2000. Professionally he was known for his honesty, fairness, hard work and integrity.

A talented musician, he played clarinet with his high school band and later performed on clarinet and alto saxophone with groups ranging from small ensembles to big bands. In 1974 he was instrumental in forming Mad Mullet Tom and the Dixie Flyers, a popular six-piece band that played a variety of music in the Tallahassee area during the 70s and 80s.

A member of Immanuel Baptist Church in Tallahassee, John considered the most important touchstones in his life to be his faith in his savior, Jesus Christ, and the love of his family. He is survived by his life companion and best friend, Gwen W. Tillman of Tallahassee; daughters Tamara Lacher of Crawfordville and Christine Urquhart (Michael) of Carrabelle; grandchildren Megan and Austin; three great-grandchildren; and his sister, Mary Allen (Jim) of Winter Springs, as well as several nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his two brothers, David and Mark Fletcher.

John enjoyed fishing along the Atlantic seaboard and the Gulf of Mexico, making frequent boating and fishing excursions to the Ten Thousand Islands region of southwest Florida. During the 1980s he developed a love for the game of golf and became a regular player at Tallahassee area courses. A college football fan, he rooted for both the Florida State Seminoles and the Florida Gators. He was also a student of Florida history and a vintage railroad aficionado.

A life celebration gathering for John will be held at 6 p.m. Monday, July 16, at Culley's MeadowWood Funeral Home, 1737 Riggins Rd. in Tallahassee, with the Rev. Luke Whitmore of Immanuel Baptist Church presiding and a reception to follow. In lieu of flowers, donations in memory of John Fletcher may be sent to the Florida Baptist Children's home, 8415 Buck Lake Road, Tallahassee, FL 32317.
Published in Tallahassee Democrat on July 15, 2018
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