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Posted By Whitney & Murphy On July 30, 2012 @ 1:17 pm In Obituary | 34 Comments


John W. Lapusan of Tempe died 07/28/12 . Son, Brother, Husband, Father, Grandfather, Great Grandfather and Friend. John was born in St. Louis, MO. on 11/29/1928. He joined the Navy at 17 years old and was honorably discharged in 1947 as an Electronic Technician Mate Third Class. Married Betty Devine in 1952 and they moved to Phoenix, AZ in 1960 where John founded Fine Wire Coil Company. He was hired with Phoenix Fire Department in 1962 where he served as a Fire Fighter, Engineer and Arson investigator for 21 years. He had a love of flying and received his private pilot’s license in 1983. He logged many hours flying all over the US and Mexico where he owned a restaurant & trailer park in Bahia Kino. He had a passion for family, friends, travel, camping, deep sea fishing, water skiing, dancing, singing and just enjoying life. He was always there to lend a hand. He could fix anything and if he didn’t know how he would “Johnny Rig” it. He was kind, loving, innovative, generous, hard working and always had a project to keep him busy. He was an avid Diamondbacks fan and enjoyed season tickets for many years. Even through his illness John never complained and remained positive till the end. He will be missed by many. He is survived by his wife Betty; daughters, Patty Kuzia (Ed), Janet Turner (Dave), Jean Reblitz (Peter), Peggy Lapusan; brother, Mike Lapusan (Cookie), sister, Vilma Finnern (Harold); grandchildren, Garett, Ashley, Tracey, Angela, Jonathan, Dylan, Brandon, Trevor, Donny, and Tim; plus 6 great grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his two brothers, Greg and Mark Lapusan, and sister Miczi Nickens. Visitation will be 5-8pm on Thursday, August 2, 2012 with a Funeral Service at 9am, Friday, August 3, 2012 both to be held at Whitney & Murphy Funeral Home, 4800 E. Indian School Rd. Phx, AZ 85018. Burial to follow at 11am at National Memorial Cemetery of AZ. In lieu of flowers the family respectfully ask donations be made to United Phoenix Firefighters Charities, 61 E. Columbus, Phoenix, AZ 85012.

Condolences for the family of “LAPUSAN, JOHN W.”

Condolence from Ron Burris on July 30th, 2012 7:12 pm

On behalf of the Phoenix Fire Department Administration and Members Services, we offer our deepest condolences to the Lapusan Family and friends on the loss of John. He had many friends and will be greatly missed by his Fire family.

Condolence from Amy Boise on July 30th, 2012 7:47 pm

My heart goes out to all of you that are grieving the loss of such a great guy. I enjoyed getting to know John and have nothing but happy memories of him. There will be a brighter star in the sky tonight, and I know he will be watching over Peggy and I as we drive all over the State. We shall miss you!

Condolence from Wendy Voight on July 30th, 2012 8:49 pm

Although, I had only met John once, while I was with my Mom at the Mayo in Phoenix where he was also being treated. I do know part of his family and love them like they were my only family. That in itself tells me what type of Man John was and what an influence he was to those left behind. He will live on in those who he touched and will be in their hearts forever, as they are all in my heart.

I am so sorry for your loss, my heart is with you in your time of sorrow now and always.
Wendy Voight

Condolence from Lupytha B. Zepeda on July 30th, 2012 9:48 pm

Dearest Nino ( Godfather) U are so special to the Zepeda Ballesteros …
, Being Tony¨best pal on Kino Bay, when Tony and I were dating, at I remember on my wedding day, Dec 12, 1982, suddenly in the middle of the Celebration mass, something called my atention and I look up and

Condolence from Lupytha B. Zepeda on July 30th, 2012 9:57 pm

■Lupytha B. Zepeda says:
Dearest Nino ( Godfather) U are so special to the Zepeda Ballesteros …
Being Tony¨best pal on Kino Bay, when Tony and I were dating, as I remember on my wedding day, Dec 12, 1982, suddenly in the middle of the Celebration mass, something called my atention and I look up and THERE HE WAS up on something high holding the video camara… ( JOHN LAPUSAN ) TAKING A MOVIE OF OUR WEDDING !! bless his heart!!
so ToNy and I decided to ask Him and Betty to be Our frist Baby GODFATHER … He was such a Nino… and Amigo..
Then one day when I was pragnet of Judith, my first baby John ask me to get on his plane to take me to Hermosillo to the doctor and I said NOOO Way!! and there were Him and Tony in the plane and I took the bus , they wait for me at the airport..in Hermosillo for 1:20 minutes….!!! REST IN PEACE !!
Rest in Peace!! Dear Nino!! god adviser to my girls, to me , to Tony…
God be with u wereever u are NINO JOHN !!!!

Condolence from Amy and Scott Eyler on July 31st, 2012 5:00 am

Peggy and family, we are sorry for your loss and hope you look to each other for support and love during this rough time. Please know you are in our thoughts and prayers.

Condolence from Larry Wolski on July 31st, 2012 5:27 am

John, I’ll never forget the great trip we took down to San Carlos. I believe it was your motor home that towed Jim Trainors Sea Ray. You definitely educated me on how to deal with the locals and federalies. The fishing was awesome and the camaraderie was ablast. You entertained us with some great stories. My prayers go out to you, your family, and friends. I can only imagine your spiritual adventure to be more awesome. God’s speed my friend.

Larry Wolski, Retired Captain PFD

Condolence from john snyder on July 31st, 2012 6:20 am

OMG, so sorry. I was a rookie, boot stationed at Sta 1. Wm. Durham and I used to ride from Maryvale to Sta. 1 in John’s box truck each “C” shift morning and home. He did door to door service. A great person and friend. My heart and thoughts are with your family and with John. John Snyder 1965-1985, C shift.

Condolence from Collin DeWitt on July 31st, 2012 7:54 am

John always had a smile and kind words during my years with him at fire station 13. He taught me many things by example and he would often have a “better way” that usually was. My condolences to his family

Condolence from Kathe Whalen on July 31st, 2012 9:16 am

I send prayers for comfort and healing to all John’s family and friends. I was never privileged to meet him, but know he raised a wonderful, loving, caring, funny and generous daughter in Peggy. That tells me what kind of man he was. He’ll be watching over you all now to keep you safe and will live on in your hearts.

Condolence from gary riggs on July 31st, 2012 9:21 am

Jean and Peter,
I never met your father, but if he was anything like his daughter he had to be a wonderful man.
All my love to you,

Condolence from Steve Wagner on July 31st, 2012 10:47 am

I did not know John Lapusan. I pray for peace for your family. God Bless.

Condolence from Steve Walshire on July 31st, 2012 11:00 am

Very sorry for your loss. I’ve only been with the Phoenix Fire Department for 16 years and unfortunately did not have the pleasure to meet or work with Mr. Lapusan. Our department sent notification of the passing of Mr. Lapusan and I felt compelled to write. I enjoyed reading some of the highlights of John’s life and it certainly seemed as though he led a very full life filled with the company of family and friends. This is all I believe any of us could hope for. My families thoughts and prayers are with your family.


Captain Steve Walshire
Phoenix Fire Department

Condolence from Kathy Hagerty on July 31st, 2012 12:23 pm

I did not know John, but have known Peggy, his daughter, for a few years. if Peggy is the reflection of her dad, then John must have been a generous, kind, enthusiastic and joyful person. i offer my prayers in your time of loss. ~kathy h

Condolence from Maureen Slobig on July 31st, 2012 2:15 pm

I am so sorry for your loss. It’s been a hard road. Hugs and prayers for Jean, Janet, Patty, Brandon and Trevor and Betty and the rest of the family. I pray for your peace and comfort.

Condolence from Verna Hutchinson on July 31st, 2012 2:40 pm

The Kino Travel Club will miss his smiling face at the annual Trek to Laughlin in September. Please know that our thoughts and prayers will be with you all this week.

Condolence from john martinez on July 31st, 2012 2:46 pm

sorry for your loss-he sounds like an American hero to many

Condolence from Glenda Maud on July 31st, 2012 3:12 pm

I got to know Johnny when he had the Kino Bay restaurant and even served coffee for him sometimes. One time I had to make a trip to Penasco so rode the train up and then on his way back frm Phnx he stopped by and picked me up and flew me back to Kino. It was a great flight! Saw him a few years ago in Kino and he had brkfst with Bill Lttle and me. We got to laugh at a lot of good memories. He has been missed down there. My thoughts and prayers are with all of his family.

Condolence from Charles and Carolyn Brown on July 31st, 2012 4:46 pm

To all of John’s family, we are sorry for your loss. He will be missed by all who knew him. I have known John for close to 50 years but the most interesting time with him was when Carolyn and I went with him to Kino Bay about 17 years ago. Lets just say he had a unique way of dealing with young federalies with big guns. Our thoughts and love to his family. Charlie Brown, 1963-1989, B-shift

Condolence from Hal Dryden on July 31st, 2012 5:18 pm

I remember this kind and ever busy man. Enjoy your new adventures John!

Condolence from Lisa on July 31st, 2012 5:54 pm

I have been trying to find the words, and when I read his obituary, all the words were there…. the only thing I can add is – he saved my life…. I was truley on death’s door – and he came out of nowhere, saved my life, nuertured me, my Cochise, my life – he always carried the sweetest smile and just joy of each day – there for me through hospitilation, surgery, just everything – he came out of nowhere and gave the brightest reason to wake up each day…. and our dogs, forget about it (a NY thing) he was always beyound wonderful to me, and to so many others and i can name them the 5 years I loved him… he has a beautiful family he loved so dearly – and I feel special that in a part of his life he loved me too, as I loved him…. I can only pray there are more people in the world like John… he so loved life, and I enjoyed being a part of his loving life so much – he is truley blessed, and has a wonderful family.. God Bless always and forever

Condolence from Jim Parker (Ponderosa) on July 31st, 2012 8:10 pm

So sorry to hear about John——– Used to meet John at Ina & I-10
to send things down to Kino & pick up things he brought up from Kino. Glad to have known U,John——— R I P

Condolence from Todd Liston on August 1st, 2012 10:00 am

I met John as a young person through his friend my dad Connie Liston I became to know John very well by going to the the taco bust hearing of his stories of mexico and him calling me to repair his friends air conditioning units he will be missed dearly especially by me God Bess him and his family our thoughts forever Todd Liston and Family.

Condolence from Stan Sattler on August 1st, 2012 1:49 pm

My prayers go out to the Lapusan family. Of course we all know that John would not want us to grieve for him but instead relish our lives as he enjoyed his. I met John when I was assigned to work at Fire Station #19 (Sky Harbor Airport). John drove and operated “Foam 1”, one of the gigantic crash/rescue trucks there. Being the “new guy” John took me under his wing and helped familiarize me with the station and especially all of the apparatus. Then one day John said that he was thinking of retiring and he wanted me to have his spot on Foam 1. He spent countless hours with me training and drilling until he was confident that I was ready. I was proud to follow in his footsteps. I tell this story as another example of John’s tireless generosity to his fellow man. Goodbye Engineer Lapusan and Thank You.

Condolence from Mike Lambert on August 2nd, 2012 7:30 am

John was always a great friend to me and the whole Lusson family. I enjoyed camping and fishing with him (even though he had a habit of running out of gas and being towed in in the middle of the ocean!!). I had good times with him in Kino Bay and at the parties. I am sorry for your loss and your family will alway be in my thoughts.

God Bless you all,


Condolence from Marla Beans on August 2nd, 2012 11:21 am

My love and prayers go out to the entire Lapusan family. I went to high school with all the Lapusan girls and we were very close friends. I spent many days at the Lapusan house as they lived right across the street from our high school. Mr. Lapusan was always warm, kind and giving in so many ways. He loved his family and treated everyone as if we were his own. I will always treasure those moments. I know that he will be missed so much by all.

Don’t think of him as gone away,
His journey’s just begun,
life holds so many facets
this earth is only one.
Just think of him as resting
from the sorrow and the tears
in a place of warmth and comfort,
where there are no days and years.
Think how he must be wishing
that we could know today
how nothing but our sadness
can really pass away.
And think of him as living
in the hearts of those he touched,
for nothing loved is ever lost,
and he was loved so much.

All my love to the entire Lapusan Family…
Marla Beans

Condolence from Trisha Madrid Marolf on August 2nd, 2012 11:38 am

Our prayers to the family, especially our dear friends Janet, Dave, Angela, Jonathan and Dylan. We all should enjoy such a fruitful, loving life!

Condolence from Paul Johnson on August 2nd, 2012 3:34 pm

I have always been grateful for the opportunity to work at Fine Wire Coil Company and the great start John and Betty gave me in my electronics career. Dennis O’Brien and I were talking today how John took the role of father to us young college boys and gave us a financial and technical foundation that was invaluable. Betty was always gracious and we appreciated her warm heart.

Thank you for your influence on my life–it has made a difference.

Paul Johnson

Condolence from Walt Lanphier on August 2nd, 2012 8:27 pm

John will be missed by all that knew him. I extend my heartfelt condolence to his family. He was a good man to all.

Condolence from tom hosea on August 2nd, 2012 9:52 pm

I didn’t meet John until he had retired and I was also airplane
and flying crazy. He showed me so much and was always

ready to help , but was such a gentleman he would always wait for U to ask . More than anything I remember how very polite he was

and cared about others feelings . And he loved to fly and we
shared that passion, I remember some exciting trips and warm summer nites

I talked to him just a few weeks ago and asked him for a solution to an electrical problem , he thought for a few seconds and gave

me the perfect solution.
Thanks John, God Speed my Brother

Condolence from Dennis O’Brien on August 3rd, 2012 2:59 pm

I remember with fondness my years of working for John at Fine Wire Coil Company. John taught me many lessons that have helped me throughout my life as an employee, manager, and father. Going to work was like going to a second home. Betty’s kind and welcoming demeanor was always appreciated and made my time with the Lapusans special.

My memories of that time in my life are never far from me. My heart goes out to Betty and their daughters in this time of loss.

Condolence from Debbie Wells on August 9th, 2012 2:25 pm

I would like to send my deepest sympathy and prayers to you and your family.
God Bless!

Condolence from Maxine Warren on August 21st, 2012 9:54 am

My thoughts and prayers have been with all the girls and their families and Betty, my long time friend of so many years. John put up a huge battle, which is over for him now and the memories will go on. God Bless all of you.
With Love,
Maxine, Bill and Rusty

Condolence from Peggy Lapusan on September 2nd, 2012 6:58 pm

Dad, I can’t believe its been over a month since you left this planet. I miss you every day and today has been exceptionally hard for some reason. Thank you for all the wonderful memories for the last 53 years. I love you and miss you.


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