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JOHN HAROLD NORTHSTEIN

John Harold Northstein, born on August 17, 1934, passed away at his home in Gloucester County on December 14, 2023.

John was born to Harold Henry Northstein and Mary Helen Northstein. John grew up working on the family farm. He attended, and graduated from, Botetourt High School in Gloucester County.

After graduating high school, John enlisted in the Marine Corps on October 11, 1951. During his time in the Marines, John was stationed at Parris Island, South Carolina; Quantico, Virginia, and Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. He served in Dog Company 2nd Marines, and was sent to Camp Vieques Naval Training Range in Puerto Rico twice, then sent to Labrador, Canada, for cold weather training, and he was sent twice to Camp Perry, and Port Clinton, Ohio. He was honorably discharged on October 10, 1954 with the rank of Buck Sergeant.

After his time in the Marines, John attended Lynchburg College where he met Laura Ayres who was attending Virginia Baptist School of Nursing, also located in Lynchburg. John and Laura married on December 13, 1957. After completing their studies in Lynchburg, John and Laura returned to Gloucester County and started raising a family.

After graduation from Lynchburg College with a teaching degree, John went on to teach high school biology for King and Queen County Public Schools, Gloucester County Public Schools, Poquoson County Public Schools, and York County Public Schools. Many of his students remember him as the teacher who always wore a bow tie. In addition to teaching, he raised pigs, cattle, buffalo, and various farm crops on his property here in Gloucester. John retired from teaching and continued to farm hay here in Gloucester.

John was a lifelong member of Petsworth Baptist Church. He served the church throughout the years by leading the choir, serving as treasurer, serving as a deacon, serving on the Pastor Pulpit Committee, and taught Sunday School. John and his wife Laura served as representatives for Petsworth Baptist Church at the Mid-Tidewater Baptist Association where they attended meetings, classes and events put on by the Mid-Tidewater Baptist Association for many years.

John was very active in local government here in Gloucester County and served as Supervisor for the Petsworth District from January 1, 1986 to December 31, 1997. Many years later, he ran again and served as Supervisor for the Petsworth District from January 1, 2010 to December 31, 2013. John was also an active member of Ruritan for 56 years. Some of the Ruritan positions he held were: Past President of the Gloucester Ruritan Club, Founder of and Past President of the Dragon Run Ruritan Club, and Ruritan Advisor to the Gloucester High School Ruriteens. John was also active with the Virginia Ruritans, Ruritan National, and the Chesapeake District Ruritans. John served the Chesapeake District Ruritans by holding the positions of Zone Governor, Lieutenant Governor, and District Governor. He was recognized as Ruritan of the Year by the Chesapeake District Ruritans. John and Laura also delivered Meals on Wheels for 30+ years. John was appointed by the Gloucester County Board of Supervisors to the Agency on Aging where he served for many years. In later years, John was a proud member of the Marine Corps League, Middle Peninsula Detachment 1317.

John had a vision to build a Veterans Memorial here in Gloucester. John served as President and founder of the Gloucester Veterans Memorial Committee. His vision was realized when the Veterans Memorial Wall, in front of the Gloucester County Courthouse, was dedicated in 2008. The Marine Corps League honored John’s military service in front of the Gloucester Veterans Memorial at the Veteran’s Day Ceremony in 2022.
John was preceded in death by his father and mother, Harold Henry Northstein and Mary Helen Oliver Northstein; sisters, Cathryn Hudgins and Arletta Smith; and his loving wife Laura of 66 years. John leaves behind to cherish his memory, his sister, Sue Whitfield (Henry); his children, Patrick McKenna Northstein (Martha), Douglas Everett Northstein (Linda), and Eldridge Harold Northstein (Johanna); his grandchildren, Ridge, Morgan, Maekenna (Jett), John Emory, and Elanna; step-grandson, Wesley Goetz (Ashley), and great-grandchildren, Ambellina, Liam and Tegan.
Services for John were held on Tuesday, December 19, 2023, at Petsworth Baptist Church, with visitation from 1-2 p.m. and service at 2 o’clock. Arrangements were made by Andrews Funeral Home of Gloucester.

In memory of John, the family would appreciate donations to the Ruritan National Foundation, P.O. Box 487, Dublin, Va. 24084, Mid-Tidewater Baptist Association, P.O. Box 302, Saluda, Va. 23149 or Marine Corps League, Middle Peninsula Detachment 1317, P.O. Box 1930, Gloucester, Va. 23061.

 

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