John Viana, age 84, of Grand Rapids, passed away on Saturday, March 27, 2021. John was born in Syracuse, New York on August 12, 1936.
He was a member of the New York Air National Guard for ten years and completed the Air Force Cadet Program. He served in a Fighter Squadron and a Radar Unit. John flew in fighters as a radar observer and worked in the Radar Unit as a weapons controller. In 1961 his Radar Unit was called to active duty during the Berlin Wall Crisis and his unit was sent to Germany to operate a radar site controlling aircraft.
He worked for Aetna Casualty and Surety Insurance Company for thirty-six years and for Hastings Mutual for five years. His assignments included Loss Control, Commercial Underwriting and Commercial Marketing. Prior to insurance experience, he worked for Allied Chemical tending boilers in the power house.
He will be lovingly remembered by his wife and best friend, Beverly; son: David (Shelly) Viana and their children, Kyle, Justin, Torie and great grandson, Silas; daughter, Deborah (Paul) Mabin and their daughters, Kaleah and Jayde; sister in Camillus, New York, Maria (Robert) Maraio and their children, Sharon and Sandra; several cousins, nieces and nephews. John was preceded in death by his daughter, Dawn Marie and parents, Peter and Irma Viana.
Funeral services will be held 11 a.m. Tuesday, April 6, 2021 at Stegenga Funeral Chapel, 3101 Division Ave., Grand Rapids, with Rev. Phil Shangraw. Burial will be held at Woodlawn Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital. Condolences may be sent online at www.stegengafuneralchapel.com.
As John and Beverly’s neighbor, they were the only people I saw with any sort of regular schedule in the past year. We’d meet at the mailbox or I would see him coming home from errands sitting up in the garage enjoying a nice day. I always enjoyed talking with him and Beverly. My heart is heavy but we will take that heaviness and turn it into a celebration of John’s life. My sympathies for your loss, may you find peace and comfort in this difficult time.
- S.K. Van Poolen
Dear Beverly and family,
I am very sorry for your loss. John and I grew up together in Solvay. We went all through school and graduated together. We were also in the same Air National Guard Unit and were in Germany together.
I have many fond memories of a very special friendship. God Bless,
- Frank Romano
John was always so kind and easy to talk to at all times. For us as his neighbors, he faithfully wrapped his
Hastings newspaper to share with us every week. Watching him struggle with walking inspires us still for his fortitude and bravery. We will miss him and send sincere condolences to Beverly and John’s entire, remarkable family.
- Kathleen and Jim Oliver