John Hussey

Obituary of John Franklin Hussey

John Franklin Delano Roosevelt Hussey was born May 18, 1933 to John and Marion Hussey. He was the first born son following 12 sisters. His brother Bill was born two years later.

Sit back, grab a cup of your favorite beverage and enjoy a little history of John. 

He grew up in West Duluth attending Laura MacArther Elementary, followed by Denfeld High School. Education was an early passion for John and it continued throughout his life. He attended UMD, earning a Bachelor’s Degree in Music and a Master’s in Psychology. John never stopped learning, attending classes at local universities well into his 80’s. He truly loved learning.

In August 1952 he married the love of his life, Patricia J. Rood. The two would make sweet music together, starting with seven children blessed to this couple. John W. (Barb), Lynne, Lorna (Stephen), Kathleen (Linda), Rebecca (Michael), Colleen (Bill), and Christopher (Julie).  

Those blessings continued for John and Pat with a multitude of grandchildren, John D., Stacy (Joe), Sarah, Emily (Jason), Katie (Jesse), Marie (Rene′), Rebekah (Aaron), Daniel (Holly), Tara (Joel), Lindy, Wade (Kelsey), Joseph (Naomi), Joshua (Miriam), Delilah, Jacob (Lily), Veronica (Sean), Ian, Blake, Bailey, and Isabel. The hits kept coming in the numerous great grandchildren – Carter, Riley, Nathan (Nick), Karly, Dylan (Lynnsie), Rachael, Hannah, Madisen, Reagen, Jackson, Joshua, Isaac, Jose′, Jonathan, Elsa, Charlotte, Lydia, Ezra, Eva, Elijah, Adelyn, Elias, Cadence, Malachi, Eliana, Olivia, Kohle, Justis, Holden, Hannah, Aria, Freya, Rosemary, and Dean. John was blessed with another verse to his legacy in July of 2019, by becoming great great grandfather to Claudia Jean Wark. All in all, five generations. Very impressive. There is no doubt additional movements will be added to this symphony in the years to come.

John was lucky enough to “retire” at the age of 58 (though if you knew John, he was busier in retirement than he ever was while working). His time was occupied by a plethora of activities - fixing cars, filling his Menard building with all his treasures, continued schooling and his forever companion, music. Never a dull or boring day in his life. His wife, Pat continued working for a number of years after John retired. Once both entered the autumn of their lives, they began to travel, taking some time for themselves. Pat passed away in October, 2005. They were married 53 years.

John loved traveling – everywhere and anywhere. Even after Pat’s passing, he continued to travel, visiting Australia, China (twice), boating down the Amazon River, a 35-day cruise around South America, German riverboat tours and on and on. His most recent expedition was Portugal. John’s traveling companion in his later years was his longtime friend and partner for the past several years, Bonnie Tuominen. They both enjoyed seeing the world, even being gone over 50 days on a cruise together. How cool is that? There would be no moss found under these rolling stones.

You would need several volumes to describe John’s musical impact on his family, students, the city of Duluth and beyond. He was a member of numerous local musical bands: TWPE, Duluth Symphony, Shrine Drum and Bugle Corps, the Hungry Five Society just to name a few. He was also a founding member of the musical group formed with Pat, “Family & Friends.” The singing group’s name was indicative of its membership, containing several of their children and many lifelong friends. The group was a staple at the Miller Hill Mall during the Holiday season, performing countless Christmas classics. John was president of the Duluth Musicians Union and a state judge for choral and band competitions. He played for numerous headliners as well, including the likes of Tom Jones, Sonny and Cher, Johnny Mathis, Roy Orbison, the Moody Blues and Bob Hope. Though John was self-taught on numerous instruments, the trombone was his weapon of choice.

And finally, as his children, there were countless gifts our father blessed us with, but as we talked amongst ourselves, we realized that the three greatest gifts he bestowed upon us were Creativity, Humor and Grace. Whether it was an innovative (or very unorthodox) way to fix a home project, or even to look at life’s problems in a different way, he showed and inspired us to be creative. When it came to humor, our Dad showed us laughter from the most base to the clever, dry and sophisticated. And no one can live with true Grace while raising seven kids (he was close), but in our later years, we learned, from him, the true lesson of love, generosity and thinking of others before yourself.

John left this world on November 16th, 2020. John Hussey was our father, your friend and a true Renaissance Man, touching each of our lives in a special and significant way. Thank you, John. You may be missed, but never forgotten.