John Cannon Pingree
1940 ~ 2020
Salt Lake City, UT-John Cannon Pingree passed away peacefully at home on Thursday, March 5, 2020 surrounded by family. He died at age 80 after a 17-year fight with cancer. The family would like to thank all the medical personnel that helped with his care including those at the Huntsman Cancer Institute.
The guiding values in John's life included his faith in Jesus Christ, his love of family, and service in both The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and in the community.
John was born on January 27, 1940 in Salt Lake City, Utah to Job Frederick "Fred" Pingree and Marjorie Cannon Pingree. He was the youngest of four children. His siblings include Patricia Pingree Romney (Vern), J. Frederick "Toby" Pingree (Phyllis), and George Cannon Pingree (Anne). He was raised in the Avenues area of Salt Lake City and attended West High School where he enjoyed friends, athletics, and student government.
After high school, John joined the Utah Air National Guard and started his education at the University of Utah before leaving for a full-time mission in Argentina. Serving as a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ was a seminal event in his life. During these two and a half years, John deepened his commitment to Jesus Christ and established a great love for the Argentine people. He maintained relationships with those he taught throughout his life.
John returned to the University of Utah where he earned a BA degree in Economics. At the University, he met Carmen Boyden. They worked together in student government, he as student body president and she as student body secretary. They married in the Salt Lake Temple shortly after graduation in August 1964. They then moved to Boston, MA where John earned an MBA degree at the Harvard Business School in 1966.
John was a devoted, faithful, and loving husband during his and Carmen's 55+ years of marriage. They enjoyed a rich life together and raised their family while living in Denver (CO), Chicago (IL), Sunnyvale and Los Altos (CA), and Salt Lake City (UT). They were blessed with five children including John (Anne), Scott (Valerie), Mike (Jenn), Sara Graham (Brett), and Brian. As a father, he was loving and reliable. He sought to instill important virtues in his children through consistent family prayer and scripture study, Saturday chores ("There never was a lazy Pingree!"), chats at dinner, one-on-one talks, service projects, and family activities.
John's professional career included positions with Xerox, Memorex, Transportation Safety Systems, and the Utah Transit Authority ("UTA"). At the UTA, he served for 20 years as general manager. During that time, the UTA planned, funded, and began implementation of light rail along the Wasatch Front and was named the number one transit system in America two times by the American Public Transit Association.
Together, John and Carmen dedicated much of their lives serving others. While they served in many capacities at Church, some of the most meaningful included John's service as a bishop and stake president in the student stakes at the University of Utah, as mission president of the Mexico City East Mission, as an Area Seventy working with Spanish-speaking populations, and as a Salt Lake Temple worker and sealer. John and Carmen also spent much of their lives advocating for children and adults with Autism. They supported research, education, and advocacy efforts for families affected by autism in Utah. John also served on the Utah State Board of Education and Utah State Board of Regents.
John enjoyed spending time with Carmen, his children, and extended family. He loved the outdoors, especially hiking and skiing in the mountains. He found great strength from studying the lives of his ancestors and looked for every opportunity to share stories about forebears with his children and grandchildren. He was highly disciplined in almost every aspect of his life-spiritually, professionally, financially, and physically. Over the years, he especially relished the opportunity to play Santa Claus for many families in the neighborhood and for all the children at the Pingree Autism Center.
John is survived by his wife Carmen, their five children and spouses, 20 grandchildren, three great grandchildren, his sister Pat, and his oldest brother Toby. He is preceded in death by his parents, his brother George, his brother-in-law Vernon Romney, and a granddaughter Emily Graham.
Funeral services will be held on Tuesday, March 10, 2020 at 12:00 pm and a viewing from 10:30 to 11:30 at the Garden Heights Chapel of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints located at 2220 Fisher Lane in Millcreek, Utah. A viewing will also be held on Monday, March 9 from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm at the same location.
Published by The Salt Lake Tribune from Mar. 7 to Mar. 10, 2020.