MacQueen, John Henry – John passed away surrounded by loving family on November 1, 2023, at the age of 96. He was predeceased by his wife of 49 years, Josephine “Dodie” MacQueen (Walsh) in 2002. John married again at the young age of 80 to Barbara MacQueen (Boyd). She and John made their home in Windsor, Colorado. She passed away in 2016, leaving five children, 16 grandchildren and 17 great grandchildren. John was the beloved father of daughter Joanne Rose (MacQueen) of Colchester, CT, and sons, John F. MacQueen and James T. MacQueen both of Windsor, Colorado. In addition to Barbara’s children, John is survived by eight grandchildren: Femmaeve, Erin, Marie, Ryan, Shannon, Ashley, John, and Dana and eleven great-grandchildren. John was one of seven children: siblings; David, Fred, Marie, Gladys, Robert and Jim. His parents were David A. MacQueen and Mary (Marie) MacQueen (McHugh).
John was born in Medford, Massachusetts on June 5, 1927. With John’s father’s WW1 veteran “compensation”, this “city” family purchased a small farm in New Hampshire and tried to make a go of it in the early years of the Great Depression. John’s prized possession was his own ax (hatchet). At age nine, he contributed to the family’s income by cutting trees destined for the sawmill. The family had one milking cow living in a shed attached to the house, chickens and a small garden. They pulled water from a local stream. John attended a one room schoolhouse and skipped the 5th grade. His mechanical skills showed at an early age, fashioning a baseball bat and hockey stick from “perfect” trees he found in the woods. These years produced many stories, John was a wonderful storyteller. At age 11, the family moved to Revere, MA where they lived practically on top of the wooden roller coaster. John and his brothers David and Fred, along with their cousin Jim, sold newspapers on the beach and local establishments to supplement the family’s income. The family moved to a project built for Veterans in South Boston when John was 13 – entering High School. The family thought they were in heaven with their first bathtub. The project had some of the largest sports fields in Boston. John played baseball, basketball, football and hockey. He and his brothers continued to work to supplement the family income while going to school. John trained as a welder at age 16 at the Boston Shipyards and worked for Gillette Safety Razor shortly before enlisting in the Navy at age 17. John’s family benefitted from the many stories of these years - his time in the Navy on an LST heading towards the invasion of Japan, the early days of the occupation of Japan, and finally being assigned as the baker for an LST (with two weeks training). When John and his brother David were discharged from the Navy, the family reunited and had one of their most happy times with consistent income, playing in sports leagues, and just plain enjoying each other. Their apartment became a place for many friends and family, playing cards and the traditional Irish “tea and toast”. In 1953, John married “Dodie” a South Boston native, and with their children they moved to Tustin California in 1960. Although John lived the rest of his long life in California and Colorado, he never lost his Boston accent. The family thoroughly enjoyed his pronunciation of words like “park” and “car”, and it became the family’s “vernacular”. Much to his wife Dodie’s chagrin, he changed his sport’s allegiance from the Red Sox and Celtics to the Angels and Lakers. He was an avid golfer. John’s work career included Gillette’s, Shick, Canon Electric, Matrix Science Corp., Queens Lusterware (Brooklyn NY), and Pyle National. He became an expert in the field of manufacturing, becoming executive Vice President of more than one company, and was charged with taking Matrix Science Corporation “public”. He also entered law school in his 50s while working. At the age of 67 he retired and purchased a small precision engineering company, Ay-Mac Precision. In the early 2000s, the family and family business moved from California to Windsor, Colorado. John worked until a month before his passing.
John was an intelligent, hard-working, thoughtful and loving husband, father and grandfather. He loved a good story in both his telling and reminiscing as well as listening to others. John was quick to give a compliment and his thanks to others. He was devoted to his family, taking on a father figure role to his younger siblings and as a father to his own children and grand/great grandchildren. He loved his wife Barbara’s children, their spouses and grandchildren. He was easy-going and non-plussed about the rigors of parenthood, helping with homework, coaching sports teams and encouraging children and grandchildren in every possible way. He and Dodie provided a loving and nurturing home, a typical family of Irish descent of its time; a lot of “talk” and laughter with a very large extended family. Plenty of memories were made of backyard and beach bar-b-ques, tag football, camp outs, instruction in knot tying, and any kind of academic and sport instruction. All of John and Dodie’s children were encouraged and supported to follow their academic and career interests.
The MacQueen family is saddened by the loss of their beloved patriarch and recognize their good fortune of having this wonderful person for 96 years. He has been described as “one in a million”. Anyone who knew him whether family, friend or neighbor, benefitted from a relationship with a good human being who went out of his way to treat others with kindness.
A funeral mass will be held on 11/8/2023 11:00 AM at Our Lady of the Valley Catholic Church in Windsor, Colorado. Reception following.
Burial will be on 11/9/2023 12:00 PM at Lakeview Cemetery, Windsor, Colorado.
Services are being coordinated by Mark’s Funeral Home, Windsor, Colorado.