John passed away quietly in his sleep on the morning of December 30th, 2016. He left behind his beloved daughter Julia, three devoted sisters, Laurie Raymond, Jan (John) Andretich and Sandy (Richard) Ewasek, as well as his three nieces, Jenny Bracamonte, Andrea and Laurie Ewasek. John, being who he was, was still close to both his former wives, enjoying a friendship with his first wife Mary Maskal and maintaining a loving relationship with Elaine Morris, Julia's mom and his wife for 17 years. Beyond his immediate family there are scores of relatives and friends who adored him for his generosity and laughter.
John's attention to detail and thoughtful touch served him well professionally as a hotel developer. He experienced leadership success early in his career, as the youngest hotel consultant to achieve principal status at Laventhol & Horwath's Dallas office. Later, he was recruited to head up the new suite concept for Hilton Hotels. As VP of Development, he was instrumental in their first suite design concept, the Hilton Garden Inn.
John went on to form his own development company, Partners in Development. One of his shining accomplishments was to bring together all the people to complete the renovation of the Skirvin Hotel in Oklahoma City, which was restored from a forgotten building with resident pigeons in the ballroom, to the shining jewel it was intended to be.
John continued to be an active alumnus with Michigan State University's School of Hospitality, from which he earned his master's degree. He mentored many students throughout his career. His portrait hangs on the wall of fame in the Kellogg Business Center on campus.
All his accomplishments and successes were just a by-product of the huge and generous spirit that was John. He had a way that made everyone feel as if they were the most important person on the planet. His hospitality was renowned, and anyone who experienced it never forgot it. He was incredibly generous, even in his business dealings, it was important to him that everyone came out a winner.
Born in Traverse City in 1950, where his family regularly summered on their grandparents' farm, John grew up in Livonia, and later married and raised his family in Dallas, Texas. The Bellaire, Michigan farm was always his very favorite place to be and he and his family spent every summer there. The big cities he worked in never compared to the joy he experienced on Torch Lake and sitting on the porch of the family farm house, where his parents, sisters and their families also gathered.
He lovingly cared for his parents, John and Helen Weeman, at the end of their days, and helped countless others throughout his life. John saw the best in a person and his belief and support made those lucky enough to know him feel special and loved. Time spent with John meant good times, great food and tons of laughs. He started each day by reading his bible and his devotional, and he clearly worked at living his life as God intended. His favorite scripture was Hebrews 13:2, "Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it." Well done good and faithful servant.
Every summer, John looked forward to the opportunity to host friends and family at the Farm, where his generosity was manifested in lavish dinners, boat rides with elaborate picnics, and a spirit of warmth and happiness. In lieu of a funeral, his family will be celebrating his life at the Farm with a gathering of those who loved him, in the same spirit of the many memories we shared there. It will take place on the Saturday prior to his birthday - July 15. Additionally, there will be a celebration in August at his "legacy project," the Skirvin Hilton. These are both private affairs, but we would love for all who had the pleasure of knowing him to join. Please email Jan at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Published on July 8, 2017