Obituary of John Henry Ohman
John Henry Ohman
John Henry Ohman and his identical twin brother James (Jimmy), the youngest of five boys, were born to Melvin W. Ohman and Anna Distad on February 19, 1931, in Minneapolis, MN. The twins attended North High, where John was on the boxing team. He and his brother, Jimmy, were also their class mascots. In 1948, at age 17, they enlisted in the Marine Corps Reserves. They graduated in 1949, and 14 months later, on August 19, 1950, along with their brother, Joseph, were called into active duty and sent to Korea, where John was an assistant gunner in a 60mm mortar unit.
On September 22, 1950, John took part in the landing at Inchon. Several weeks later, on November 2-3, during a battle at Sudong, North Korea, he was severely wounded while delivering ammunition and helping to evacuate wounded Marines. Because he had lost a lot of blood, John was sent to a hospital in Japan, and remained there until he was well enough to be sent to the Naval Ammunitions Depot in Hastings, NB to serve out his commitment to the Marine Corps. On Mar. 4, 1952, Sgt. John H. Ohman was released from active duty. For his actions in Korea, John was awarded the Purple Heart with a star, indicating a second wound, and the Bronze Star with a “V” to for heroism during combat. He also received Naval and Korean Presidential Unit Citations. In 1953, John enlisted in the Air Force Reserves and after serving 20 years, retired at the rank of Chief Master Sergeant.
As a civilian, John worked for the Dept. of the Navy, US Postal Service, Dept. of Immigration and Naturalization, and FAA, where he was a position classification specialist, and lived in Minnesota, Nebraska, Missouri, Maryland, and Virginia.
John was a skiing enthusiast and, as a member of the Fagowees ski club in DC, competed in interclub giant slalom races as well as NASTAR, winning a number of gold, silver and bronze medals and pins for his performances in his age group. In 1984 John met Susan Paone who was also a member of the ski club. They were married on December 21,1985 and both continued to ski at various mountains around the country as well as Canada, finally retiring from the sport when John was in his sixties.
John and Susan enjoyed camping, hiking, biking, and traveling to various parts of the country, including Hawaii. While on Maui in 1991, at the age of 60, John participated in the Maui Downhill, an extremely steep bike ride from the top of Mt. Haleakala to its base. John and Susan also cruised to Alaska, the Western Caribbean and Canada. But the highlight of their travels was their 2012 trip to Seoul as guests of the Korean Veteran’s Association, to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the Korean War. They traveled with a number of other American Veteran’s of the war, all of whom were treated as royalty by a very grateful nation.
John always enjoyed learning new skills. He took lessons in sailing, windsurfing, rollerblading, and scuba diving. While in his ‘70’s he learned to play the flute and gave a solo recital. He also loved the game of chess, and as a member of a local chess club, played matches every week and competed in many individual and team tournaments. From 1992-94 John was assistant coach of the Thomas Jefferson HS chess team, helping bring them to the state championships.
John loved to serve people – family, friends, neighbors, his church, and the community at large. With his bag of tools and coveralls nearby, John was always ready to work on whatever needed fixing. John would often be seen on a ladder, cleaning out the gutters of a friend’s house, clearing debris from someone’s roof, shoveling snow from someone’s walkway, or clearing it off their car. He also helped deliver food through the Meals-on-Wheels program and donated blood and platelets through the INOVA blood bank.
Members of Prince of Peace Lutheran Church in Springfield, VA since 2010, John and Susan were active in senior Bible study and the Sparklers senior group. John was also a member of the Saturday morning men’s Bible study group and, of course, the Prince of Peace maintenance committee.
John loved the times he got to spend with his and Susan’s families. Since they all live some distance away, he cherished the times they were able to get together for holidays, birthdays, graduations, and other special events, or for no reason at all except to enjoy each other’s company.
In 2018, at the age of 87, John was diagnosed with metastatic prostate cancer and dementia. On February 2, 2022, he was put under hospice care in his home in Springfield and sixteen months later, on June 2, 2023, quietly passed into the arms of Jesus at age 92.
People always loved to be around John. He had a twinkle in his eye, a winning smile, and a great sense of humor. He loved to make people laugh and never hesitated to laugh at himself. He will be missed very much.
John was preceded in death by his parents Melvin and Anna, his brothers James, Joseph, Robert and Melvin, Jr. He is survived by his wife, Susan Paone; children: Joni Ohman (Richard Rothschild), Blake Ohman and Becky Edge (Steven); grandchildren: Brandon Shapiro, Hillary Hassell (Brandon) and Shelby Decker; and great-grandchildren: Ethan, Linnea, and Olivia Rose.
John will be buried with honors at Quantico National Cemetary at 11:00am on Monday, July 31.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Prince of Peace Lutheran Church in memory of John Ohman, with proceeds going toward building maintenance, or Capital Caring Hospice (Falls Church), whose care and support during John’s illness are greatly appreciated.