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Obituary: John Lovett

John Lovett
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John Lovett

June 25, 2021

John Daniel Lovett was born in 1926 at his Grandparent’s home in Murray, Kentucky, which is now the President’s home at Murray State University. He died peacefully in his own bed, at home in Glenwood Springs, Colorado, on June 25, 2021. In between those two days, John lived a full life.

John D. spent his childhood in Murray, Kentucky roaming freely in a manner that would be unheard of today. At one point, he pooled his money with other boys to purchase a model T so they could drive themselves to the swimming hole. Only one of the group was old enough to drive. His family moved to Columbus, Ohio at the beginning of World War II where his father was stationed. He attended Upper Arlington High School where he starred in football, basketball and track. He joined the Navy in 1944 and was sent to Miami of Ohio University as part of the Navy’s V-12 program. While at Miami of Ohio, he was approached by the football coach, future Hall of Fame inductee Sid Gillman, to play on the football team, but he declined to concentrate on his studies. By the time the war ended he had completed most of his pre-med education and was accepted into the Ohio State University Medical School at age 19. Because of his young age he requested a one year deferment and enrolled in Ohio State as an undergraduate. He walked on to the basketball team and was a member of the 1946 team that made it to the final four of the NCAA tournament. After graduating from medical school and a year of internship, he was called back into the Navy to serve as a flight surgeon. While on his way to Pensacola, Florida to report for duty, he stopped in Owensboro, Kentucky to visit his brother Wells Lovett, who set him up on a blind date with Louisa Wilson. Within a year Louisa and John married and began their life together. While in the Navy, he served as a flight surgeon on several aircraft carriers stationed off the coast of Korea during the war there. After leaving the Navy, he completed his residency in internal medicine at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit, Michigan before moving to Owensboro, Kentucky where he and Louisa raised their three children and he had a long career as an internist, retiring at age 65.

John was an avid outdoorsman. He loved quail hunting, especially with his best friend Wyndall Smith, golf, and tennis, but his real passion was snow skiing. He learned to ski in California while stationed there with the Navy in the 1950s and skied every year thereafter. After he retired, he and Louisa spent their winters in Glenwood Springs, Colorado so he could ski. They made many good friends and moved to Glenwood permanently in 2004. At age 87 he was still skiing over 100 days a year. His last day of skiing was at age 90.

He stopped driving three years ago at age 91, but remained at his own home until his death being cared for by his children and wonderful caregiver, Carol Schriner.

John was predeceased by Louisa in 2018. He is survived by their children Nancy Wells Lovett of Greencastle, IN, John Wilson Lovett (Jeannie) of Wilmington, NC and Daniel Clay Lovett ( Emily) of Steamboat Springs, CO and granddaughters Kathryn Armstrong Lovett of Winston Salem, NC and Julia Louise Lovett Schaffner (Reese) of Portland Oregon.

A memorial service is planned for a later date.


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