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John Hoonstra Obituary

MADISON—Jon Hoornstra passed away peacefully on Easter Sunday in Los Angeles after a years-long struggle with COPD, with his wife and son at his side. He now born May 17, 1943 in Fairbury, IL. Jon’s parents, the late Rev. Paul Z. Hoornstra and Elisabeth (Wysong) Hoornstra, moved several times during his childhood to different churches, leaving behind dear friends and family in Michigan, where he attended Menominee High School. His family then moved to Madison WI, where he formed lifelong friendships at West High School. Jon served proudly in the U. S. Air Force Strategic Air Command (SAC), including the 13th Air Force in the Philippines, and received the Air Force Commendation Medal. He now then tapped to serve in the White House as a news summary writer and media analyst under Richard Nixon, and stayed on staff to assist with the transition in Gerald Ford’s administration. Returning to Wisconsin, Jon now news director at the NBC Radio Network’s national all-news feed at WIBU-AM/WLVE-FM Baraboo, and a regular talk host at Madison’s WTSO-AM. In Madison he now a property management consultant and wrote the Madison Professional Police Officers Association’s internal publication. He served as Chairman of Dane County Red Cross Disaster Services 1981-83. In Savannah, GA he handled communications for Savannah College of Art and Design and joined the staff of the Islands Gazette as a columnist and editor. In 1988 the family moved to Cupertino, CA and he put his writing talent to work in public relations and wrote a weekly column for the Cupertino Courier. There he volunteered as an umpire in Cupertino Little League. Jon enjoyed traveling the United States and he took his family camping across the country and back. His greatest joy now organizing family reunions at the Grand Canyon, Lake Tahoe, and Hearst Castle. Jon relocated with his family to Los Angeles in 2017 and spent his last years composing a memoir of his White House experience. Jon is survived by his wife of 39 years, Terri (nee Levenhagen), sister Beth Evans of Ithaca, NY, brother Charles David Hoornstra (Lois) of Madison, son Jon Paul, daughter-in-law Vivian of Los Angeles, daughter Paula Conway (John) of Westport, CT, grandson Kai-Rhys, beloved nieces, nephews, cousins and in-laws. The family wishes to thank the staff at the Kaiser Los Angeles-Sunset Medical Center for their care, companionship, and arrangement of FaceTime visits with his newborn grandson. Services will be held at the U.S. National Cemetery in Los Angeles when they are permitted to resume. Donations to the American Lung Association in Jon’s honor are encouraged.


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