John Arthur Tremore

1939 ~ 2021

John Tremore, son of Wilmont and Blanche (Gibson) Tremore, was born in Chicago but grew up in Momence IL, home of the Gladiola Festival. He passed peacefully, surrounded by his family and happy to be home. He died of complications of MRSA and other infections following quadruple bypass heart surgery. After six months in the hospital, he came home to get strong through physical and occupational therapy but could not sustain a normal blood pressure. His goal was to get back to exercise at Mary Free Bed YMCA and go hiking again on North Country Trail.

In his youth he was an Eagle Scout, played a trombone in the school band and joined a local Drum and Bugle Core marching band. During two years at Northern Illinois University he joined Pi Kappa Phi and a choral group. He earned a BS in civil engineering at University of Illinois, Urbana, then got his MS in structural engineering. By then he was married and also worked for a local engineering firm on highway and bridge designs.

The family moved to the Chicago area, where John worked for the Austin Company and later for George A. Kennedy & Associates in downtown Chicago where he was responsible for the structural design of more than 20 buildings.

In 1970 he joined Daverman Associates, Architects and Engineers in Grand Rapids as a structural job captain for more than 40 buildings. In 1979 he opened Tremore & Associates, a small firm, because he wanted to design, not manage a group of employees. He primarily provided consulting structural engineering services to architectural firms for the buildings of all types—schools, colleges, churches, stores, malls, industrial buildings, medical buildings, warehouses, and individual homes.

Some of his jobs included analyzing the LaGuardia field post-tensioned runway over the East River in New York City. He designed several industrial buildings and the Central Laboratory Building at the National Accelerator Laboratory, Batavia IL. It was a 17-story office with an atrium the size of the entire length and height of the building. Other projects included classes and the Michigan State University Ice Arena, East Lansing, which won an award for the 6,000-seat arena. Among many other school projects was a one block, five story building – the Minneapolis Area Vocational-Technical Institute, in Minnesota. He did structural design for Steelcase Chair Plant—a two story, one million square foot manufacturing building, and two additions to the Jig and Fixture plant. He did projects for Amway, the Prince Corporation, Goodwill Industries in Grandville, Spartan Stores which included five buildings, including two 250,000 square foot warehouses and the corporate office building. Other projects included Calvary Nondenominational Church, East Paris Medical Building, United Parcel Service Distribution Center in Milwaukee, Sunshine Christian Returned Church in Grand Rapids, Catholic Central projects as the school expanded, and a small project on the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum.

John believed his role as an engineer was to generate good designs as well as to provide economy for the client. He was like that at home as well. He drove his 1996 Honda Odyssey for 21 years because it was a good reliable car (so what if it was getting rusted, nothing a little house paint couldn’t fix!). He loved telling goofy jokes - often the groaners – yet could come out with a clever quip in seconds. He was excellent in math, geography, history—nonfiction only, remembering ballgames he’d have seen years ago, and keeping charts of things he felt were important.

He was a dedicated Cubs fan from the first time his father took him as a child to Wrigley Field. He also followed the Fighting Illini and moaned that games rarely were on shown on Michigan TV. John also rooted for the LPGA , the Chicago Bears, and MSU.

John spent much of his free time engaging in sports, including running, swimming, tennis, skiing, and camping. As a founding member of the Mary Free Bed YMCA, he especially enjoyed doing Body Pump & Aqua Aerobics. John spent many hours hiking & exploring the North Country Trail in Michigan and spent two years improving rough sections of paths. He had a green thumb, both inside and outside the home. He listened to at least 40 seasons of the Grand Rapids Symphony and loved traveling in Europe.

John was a kind, generous man who admired, supported, and loved his family. He was preceded in death by three infants; his son Michael John; his sister; two nephews; two nieces; his brother-in-law; and great-granddaughter Harley. He is survived by his wife of 61 years, Judy (Ondrla); son, David; daughter, Andrea Tremore-Snow; son-in-law, Brent Snow, and his two children, Krystal Perea-Snow and Yolotl Brent Perea-Snow; grandchildren, Mindy Rose, Matthew William, and Michael John Tremore Jr. and his wife Starr; and great-granddaughters, Amelia and Olive.

We thank John’s caregiver Kim Stanton and all the nurses, aides and doctors at Butterworth and Blodgett hospitals who made him well enough to get back home and start the next phase of getting better. We also thank our friends and families who bolstered us while he was so sick for so long.

John has been cremated and will be buried next spring in the Momence Cemetery where five generations of his family are buried including two of our children.

In lieu of flowers John would be pleased to have donations made for the North Country Trail Association, 229 E. Main St., Lowell MI 49337, or the Mary Free Bed YMCA in Cascade.

Leave Your Tribute Message

November 07, 2021 12:48pm

A really good man, father, and husband. I really hope you read this, Judy, as I’ve been trying to reach you for weeks. Chris R Chapman wrote you email down at a party but it didn’t work so I’m sending you mine here. .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  I’D Really like to communicate with you, especially now that you’ve lost John. Sending prayers and affection, Susan Lovell

- Susan Lovell

November 06, 2021 12:51pm

I didn’t have grandparents for most of my childhood but meeting Grandpa John made me feel like I’d had him my whole life, we bonded over plants and exercise and he was always teaching me new views of the world. His humor and love will be deeply deeply missed, but I will always have the memories. Thank you, Grandpa John, rest now, you deserve it.

- Krys Snow-Perea

November 05, 2021 4:53pm

I did not know grandpa John for very long, but the guy did know how to put a smile on my face. He was quick witted, intelligent, caring, and good humor. He was a great guy and I wish I could have had him in my life longer. The memories he gave me were wonderful and he has a special place in my heart.

- Heart Snow-Perea

November 05, 2021 3:03pm

Dear Judy & Family:  My fondest memories of John are the Thanksgivings of old at Bea’s as well as trips to Momence to visit Blanche and Willie and the extended families.  Very sorry for your loss, and wishing you peace.

-Joe Clayton

- joseph clayton

November 03, 2021 10:29pm

I will always smile when I remember John’s fondness for dry humor and cold beer. He and his wife always made me feel welcomed in their home which, after 35 years of friendship, was like a second home to me.  I will certainly miss him in the years ahead; his passing has made me feel like I’ve lost 2 fathers this year, Rest easy John, you fought the good fight

- Linda Robinson

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