John Burton Shoemaker

John B. Shoemaker, 82, of Payson, AZ passed away on December 6, 2020. John, also known as Mike to his family, was born in Sioux Falls, SD on January 21st, 1938. John is preceded in death by his parents, Leo Marion and Shirley Ione; his sister, Judy Collins; and his beloved wife of 36 years Lynn. He is survived by: 3 siblings, Jim (Marnie) Shoemaker, Jill Michelson, and Jeff (Marcie) Shoemaker; his 4 children, Mike (Angela) Shoemaker, Paige (Dan Luttrell) Shoemaker, Brooke (Skip) Ross, Zoey Chimka; 8 grandchildren, and 12 great-grandchildren with more on the way.

John graduated from Washington High School in Sioux Falls, SD in 1955. In 1959 he graduated from the S.D. School of Mines and Technology with a degree in Civil Engineering. He worked briefly in Los Angeles, CA until 1960 when he was commissioned as a 2nd Lt. in the US Army Corps of Engineers. He served his first tour in Fairbanks, AK. While there, he met and married his first wife Linda and they were blessed with three children. In 1964 John graduated from the Officer Fixed Wing Aviators course and was immediately sent to Vietnam for his first of three tours of duty. He was shot down flying the 0-1F Bird Dog in 1965. In 1966 he graduated from Rotary Wing (helicopter) Aviation Course prior to his second tour. He was ambushed by the Viet Cong on his second tour while in a jeep in 1969 and was hospitalized. The Army sent him to Iowa State University in 1970 where he received a Master’s Degree in Water Resources, graduating with all straight A’s. The army rewarded him by sending him to Vietnam for his 3rd tour of duty. He retired from the US Army in February 1980 with the rank of Lt. Colonel. His military awards include: Bronze Star with three clusters, Meritorious Service, Air Medal, Army Commendation Medal, Purple Heart, and many more.

He then went to work for SVERDRUP and became their airport “expert”. He worked on projects in Omaha, Milwaukee, Phoenix and Seattle. In 1984, while in Milwaukee, he met and married his second wife Lynn (deceased July 2020) and he was blessed with his fourth child Zoey.

John and Lynn retired to Payson, AZ, where they were very active in the community and Mount Cross Lutheran Church. Their family and many friends loved them.

A joint memorial service for John and Lynn will be held on July 10th at 2:00 PM in Payson, Arizona at Mount Cross Lutheran Church.

In lieu of flowers please send a donation to the Community Presbyterian Church Deacon’s Food Bank, 800 West Main St., Payson, AZ 85541.

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