John M. Shehigian
John was born on December 2, 1933 in East Chicago, IN a son of Melkon and Surpouhi (Melkonian) Shehigian. John grew up in East Chicago, graduating from East Chicago Washington High School in 1952. He excelled both in academics and athletics. He lettered in 3 sports and was an Indiana state champion in Wrestling. He was a proud Spartan, graduating from Michigan State University in 1956 with a B.A. in Economics. He was a Spartan varsity wrestler at Michigan State. John served with the US Army from 1957-58 and again from 1961-62. He was a First Sergeant on active duty during the Berlin Wall Crisis in 1962. John was awarded The Army Commendation Medal for performance of meritorious service during peacetime, by Secretary of the Army Cyrus Vance. John joined the Keyser Insurance Agency (now Keyser Insurance Group) in Kalamazoo in 1961 and rose to be President and co-owner of the firm. After selling the company in 2000, John continued to consult to the firm up until his death. John gave generously of his time, business expertise, and wise personal guidance to many civic organizations in Kalamazoo benefiting the children of our community. He had served as president of the Boys and Girls Club of Kalamazoo, president of the board of Sing Out Kalamazoo, president of the troop board for Boy Scout Troop 205 and was a West Portage Little League sponsor and coach. John founded the first junior high wrestling program in Kalamazoo. John cherished and prioritized family time, particularly weekends at the family’s farm near Ionia. In more recent years John loved gatherings of his family at their weekend home in Harbor Springs or winter home in Naples, Florida. John was inducted into the East Chicago Indiana Sports Hall of Fame and was a member of the MSU Varsity S Club. He was a long-time active member of Milwood United Methodist Church. John was preceded in death by his parents and a sister, Mary Wasiak. On December 29, 1956 John married the former Judith A. Harwood who survives. Also surviving are three children and their spouses, James (Elizabeth) Shehigian of Boulder, CO, Thomas (Ruth) Shehigian of Harbor Springs, MI and Dana (Jon) Deimel of Grosse Pointe Farms, MI; eight grandchildren, Nicholas, Alexander, Luke, Sasha, Sarah, Hannah, Adam and Joseph; one brother, Frank (Elizabeth) Shehigian; and several nieces and nephews.
John was buried with military honors in Lakeview Cemetery, Harbor Springs, MI.