John Cary, of South Bend

Published 12:52 pm Thursday, January 13, 2022

Aug. 24, 1927 — Jan. 9, 2022

John Cornelius Cary, 94, recently of South Bend, passed away on Jan. 9, 2022.

He was preceded in death by his parents and his brother, Robert W. Cary.

He is survived by his wife, Patricia H. Cary, also of South Bend, as well as by sons, John C. (Mary) Cary III and David J. (Jodi) Cary, both of Grand Rapids, Michigan, and his daughters, Susan White, of Niles, Michigan, and Barbara (Rex) Sessions of Chicago; grandchildren, Anna (Ben) Long, Brian Cary, Alex White, Isabel Sessions, Elizabeth Cary, Zachary Sessions, and Caroline Cary; and numerous nieces and nephews.

John “Tim” was born on Aug. 24, 1927, in Grand Rapids, Michigan to John C. and Helen M. (Wren) Cary. He graduated from Ottawa Hills High School in Grand Rapids in 1945. He earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Michigan (Ann Arbor) and received both a JD and MBA from the University of Michigan in 1956. He enlisted in the officer training program at age 18 and entered the US Army, serving in both WWII and the Korean War. He was honorably discharged in 1952 with the rank of First Lieutenant, having served most recently in the 11th airborne division as a paratrooper. On Aug. 22, 1953, he married Patricia H. Cary. He served as Clinton County prosecutor in St. Johns, Michigan from 1957 to 1962. John and Patricia moved to Niles in 1963 where they were residents for 55 years until 2018. From 1966 to 1970, he served as fourth ward alderman for the city of Niles and was a long-time member of the Niles Rotary Club. John served as vice president and international legal counsel for Clark Equipment Company from 1963 until 1987. He continued working for Clarks’ joint venture partner, AB Volvo, until he retired in 2005.

John was an expert sailor and sailed in 35 Chicago to Mackinac races over the course of his life. He climbed 48 of the 54 14,000-foot peaks in the Colorado Rocky Mountains, and served as a high school football referee for more than 20 years. He was a proud supporter of the University of Michigan football program, having attended every game in the “Big House” for a stretch of more than forty years. He played tennis and skied well into his 80s.

A memorial service will be held in the spring, details TBD. Questions regarding the service may be directed to the Brown Funeral Home.

In lieu of flowers, gifts can be directed to support the Ara C. Cary Fellowship in Child and Family Programs at the University of Michigan School of Social Work or Talon’s Out Honor Flight.!/give/basket/fund/570472