John Calvin Shook III

September 24th, 1946March 8th, 2018

A life so full cannot be summarized in the few lines provided by an obituary.
John Calvin Shook III was born to international teaching parents on September 24, 1946 in Glendale, California.
John’s life navigated many paths: growing up with the children of Hollywood’s elite, summers with the family in Wickenberg, Arizona, as a child escaping Nigeria’s 1950’s religious violence, proactively volunteering for Air Force military service during the horrors of the Vietnam War, starting a family with the love of his life, Patricia, in Bitburg Germany, being the supportive father of Joy and Bonnie while working nights as a janitor to obtain his master’s degree in Education in Napa, California, and continuing to show selfless mentorship to his grandchildren: Michael, Patrick, and Olivia.
John was an avid actor, a humble artist, a hairstylist and ultimately a special education teacher.
His resilience was forged in childhood combating dyslexia at a time where the learning disability was hardly known.
In adulthood, his strength was further tested fighting the debilitating effects of diabetes: quadruple bypass surgery in 2012 and the loss of his legs in 2016 & 2017.
His final victory came on March 8, 2018 when he ultimately reunited with the loved ones that preceded him.
John’s strength and tenacity continues via his family, students and friends. After a life full of adventure and intrigue, John will be laid to rest at Louisville, Colorado cemetery on Tuesday, March 13th with a family celebration of his life shortly thereafter.
In lieu of flowers and cards, the family requests that donations are made in John’s honor to Big Dogs Huge Paws Dog Rescue, Pets for Patriots Dog Rescue, and the American Diabetes Association.
Big Dogs Huge Paws Donation Page
Pets for Patriots Donation Page
American Diabetes Association Donation Page


There will be a private graveside service.


Louisville Cemetery






Pat, I'm so sorry to hear about your loss. It was a pleasure to know John, please reach out if there is anything I can do to help. I'm thinking of you. Gabby RN
Pat, My fondest memory of John was sitting with him at the Center listening to stories about his previous careers, acting, hairstyling, education. He had a twinkle in his eye and was enjoying the walk down memory lane. He will be missed. Lots of love, Maryanne
My heart breaks for you Pat but know John is with his creator enjoying the benefits of paradise. I have so many memories of John. He was a tease and lots of fun. John was also very talented...he made a beautiful corsage for mom on the spur of the moment one day because he felt it would add to her pretty outfit. Mom was thrilled. I still have it. Rest In Peace John and thank you for adding so much fun to our lives. Joyce
John was always a fighter and it was a privilege to know him and work with him in therapy. He will be dearly missed ! Jen Oropesa
My eulogy from today. Love you, Dad! “Vivere cum animi”. Live with courage. In my opinion, an appropriate saying for my father-in-law. For the 17 years I new John, I saw him living this mantra daily. Typical boyfriend, I was extremely nervous meeting Joy’s family for the 1st time in Anaheim Hills California 17 years ago. Dad made his world famous short ribs that day; a meal that tested my ability in social etiquette and shirt stain management, both VERY hard things to do if your last name is Cusimano. Vivere cum animi. I saw John’s courage as he sat across from me. Our connection took root and the lesson started as we discussed John’s battle with diabetes; something even then my family was well aware of having lost my grandfather at the time and later with the loss of my own father to the disease in 2010. Vivere cum animi. John continued to teach as I learned more about his life over the years. His love of theater and dancing (and my utter fear of the stage). To be creative when mentoring others as he did in his classrooms (and the need to practice patience and understanding). His workout regime in Anaheim Hills to combat the effects of his 12th and 13th heart stints (and my need to take care of myself). How balloons (very common things for celebrations) triggered almost daily struggles with PTSD (and my understanding that perspective is the key to empathy). Using a cane to drive because of constant and worsening neuropathy foot pain (I didn’t say I was always in agreement with his approaches). Vivere cum animi. I can pinpoint when John’s teachings finally took hold in my life. It was when I asked John for permission to marry Joy that Saturday afternoon by the desk in my house in Crestline, California. His request at the time: please call us, mom & dad. Lesson learned. Vivere cum animi. Today I look at the benefits of my own courageous moment and how my decision to pursue life with courage can shape so many others. I have a wonderful daughter and an amazing extended family with even more lessons to learn from as I grow older. I thank John for showing me how one’s courage impacts others. It worked for me. Vivere cum animi.
We were all very sad to hear about the loss of your father Joy. He was an amazing man and will be greatly missed by all. I know you have many happy and fun memories to talk and think about together, as you remember him. Keeping you all in our thoughts and prayers at this time. Sending our condolences and much love, to you, and all your amazing family. ❤ Fiona, Simon and Rebecca xxx