Ignacio resident John P. Presby died Monday, Jan. 14, 2013, at his home. He was 90. He had been a Colorado resident since 1995.
Mr. Presby was born to Wendell and Fairy Pearl (Blaine) Presby on Sept. 18, 1922, in Wichita, Kan. He grew up in Kansas City, Mo., and, seeking adventure, left home at age 17 to join the Merchant Marines in New Orleans. In 1942, his ship was torpedoed in the Gulf of Mexico, where he survived seven days adrift in a lifeboat. Soon after, he enlisted in the Army and was subsequently commissioned as an officer, serving in New Guinea during World War II.
In 1946, he married Sara Adele Davis at Fort Riley, Kan. The couple was based in Japan after the war until Mr. Presby left the military in 1948.
In the early 1950s, he joined the foreign civil service. The Presby family traveled extensively in Europe, the Near East, Africa and Japan over the next 24 years during his career. His major postings were in Turkey, Iran and Somalia.
Mr. and Mrs. Presby retired to Maryland’s Eastern Shore, where Mr. Presby pursued a variety of interests including commercial oystering, running a nursery and serving on the boards of numerous organizations. Among the organizations he was active in were the Coast Guard Auxiliary, Blood Bank of the Eastern Shore and the local historical society.
After his wife’s death, Mr. Presby moved to Ignacio. He spent the next 17 years continuing to enjoy his retirement in the Four Corners, exploring Colorado and Utah. Mr. Presby was interested in the archaeology of the area and also enjoyed horseback riding.
Mr. Presby was preceded in death by his wife of 48 years, Sara Presby; and son Thomas Presby.
He is survived by his children Adele Presby-Cook of Ignacio, Peter Presby of West Chester, Pa., Sheryl Garvick of Spring Grove, Pa.; and eight grandchildren.
Cremation has occurred. A graveside service will take place at later date at the plot next to his wife at Arlington National Cemetery.