When he did leave home for good, it was to join the Navy. He spent 21 years in the military, eventually rising to the rank of Chief Petty Officer. It was while he was stationed in Bainbridge, MD, that he became close friends with a fellow corpsman, a Navy dental technician named Champ Ray. Champ was married—and he had an idea that his wife’s sister, June, might be someone John would like to meet. She was. They were married in 1967, and embarked on the peripatetic life of a military family while raising three daughters: Michele, Melissa Lynn and Pamela. In those years, he was sometimes at sea, but more often was based on land, with a specialty in human resources and management. He loved to travel, but what he enjoyed most was the chance to teach people the basic tools of being a good manager. He schooled his daughters in their catechism lessons before their First Communion; years later, he showed Lynn the right way to run a fast-food restaurant. He was a natural teacher. John retired from the Navy in the early 1980s and settled in June’s native North Carolina. After the Navy, he worked at a variety of jobs, including a 10-year stretch as a manager at Hardee’s. He developed an interest in genealogy, and enjoyed the tedious paper research that was required before the Internet came along. Although he had accumulated various college credits over the years, he had never finished his degree. In retirement, with time on his hands, he went back to school and graduated in 1990 from Gardner-Webb College with a degree in business, an accomplishment he was quietly proud of. He stayed in close touch with his siblings in Wisconsin; he pursued his stamp collecting hobby; he toured Stonehenge and the beaches at Normandy with June; he read books on naval history. (Sooner or later, each of his daughters was required to watch “Victory at Sea” with him, whether they wanted to or not.) He held every office there was to hold in the local Knights of Columbus, and attended mass every Sunday. After being stationed in Memphis, he developed an enthusiasm for Elvis Presley—touring Graceland, collecting all of Presley’s records and films, and every book written about the musical icon.