Q: How long have you lived in Hernando County, and where do you live? Where did you live previously?
A: We live in Regency Oaks and have lived here for 14 years. Before moving to Florida, we lived in Maynard, Mass.
Q: Who are the members of your family?
A: My wife, Roberta, and I have been married for 50 years this past May. We had five children - John Jr. and his family live in Spring Hill; Deborah and her family live in Lakeland; Cathy lives in Gardner, Mass, and Gayle and her family live in Milford, Conn. Our youngest son, Tom, passed away four years ago this month. We also have six grandchildren.
Q: Tell us about your career.
A: After high school, I joined the Navy (1951-55) and served as a radioman aboard the destroyer USS Strong DD758 . I served in Korea for about nine months, followed by two world cruises in 1952 and 1954. After I left the Navy, I worked at Raytheon Co. in Massachusetts and retired after 34 years. When we moved to Florida, I began working part time, first at Printing Plus, then I delivered flowers for Tiger Lilli's Florist, and just a few years ago began working as a crossing guard at Brooksville Elementary School, but I'm actually an employee of the Hernando County Sheriff's Office.
Q: What kinds of activities are you involved in now?
A: I'm a life member of VFW Post 10209 and a founding member of the Nature Coast Chapter of the Korean War Veterans, Chapter 174, where I served as president for many years. I'm also a member of the Knights of Columbus, St. Jude Council 6383, in Spring Hill.
Q: Do you have any special hobbies?
A: My wife keeps me busy around the house, and we both dote on our beautiful grandchildren, five girls and one boy. (Patty, James, Susan, Amy, Emily and Mikaela). That keeps me pretty busy. I use to do a lot of woodworking, but haven't done a lot of it lately.
Q: What are your favorite things to do in Hernando County?
A: I really enjoy our swimming pool. I'm in it every day for health and recreation. It's great exercise.
Q: What do you think would make Hernando County a better place to live?
A: If our taxes were lower, it would be better. Building in Hernando County is getting out of hand. I think they should slow it down. Also, I think more should be done for our veterans.
Q: Tell us something about yourself that most people don't know.
A: In 2005, my wife and I became Community Emergency Response Team responders to serve our Regency Oaks community and other subdivisions in the area. Through the training, which took seven weeks, we were taught about emergency preparedness, fire safety, search and rescue, emergency medical operations, search and rescue operations, and terrorism. We're basically trained to aid first responders in our neighborhood, since we'd arrive on the scene first. I hope I never have to use it, but if I do, I'll be ready.
Hernando Neighbors is an occasional feature of the Hernando Times. Do you know someone who would make a good profile? We'd like to hear from you. Contact Jean Hayes, community news coordinator, at email@example.com or 848-1438.