He was born on March 21, 1946, in Anderson, Ind., to the late John C. and Elsie (Harrell) Alley.
He was raised in Pendleton, Ind., and graduated in 1964 from Pendleton High School. In 1968 he received his BA degree in industrial arts and physical education from Indiana State University in Terre Haute, Ind., and in 1970 from Ball State University in Muncie, Ind., with a Master’s degree in education.
On June 29, 1968, in Pendleton, Ind., he married Rita Kay James who survives. He has been coming to Tippecanoe Lake and the North Webster area since he was 7 years old.
He began his teaching career in 1969 with Elkhart Community Schools and retired from there in 2009 after 40 years of service. His fondest memories in life was being the head wrestling coach for 25 years, coaching at Brookfield Junior High School from 1970 until its closing in 1984 and at Elkhart Central High School from 1984 – 1995. At that time he decided to move on and enjoy his lake home more.
In 1994 he was one of the co-founders for setting up the Interdisciplinary Cooperative Education program for Elkhart Community Schools. Now there are many doctors, lawyers, dentists, nurses, pharmacists, veterinarians, as well as other occupations that Elkhart community businesses helped John by hiring the students during their senior year in those fields to see if that was their goal in life.
He was a member of the ISWA, AAU Freestyle Wrestling, Elkhart Rotary, and received the Key to the City from Elkhart Community Schools. He was named the 1994 State Association Co-op Coordinator of the year and served as president in 1995.
John was loved and known for “summer time at the lake” by his 14 nieces and nephews and 16 great-nieces and nephews residing all over the country.
He is also survived by his wife: Rita Alley, North Webster; a daughter: Amy Kay (Jon) Steiner, Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D.; a son: Robert John “Bob” (Jamie) Alley, Elkhart; six grandchildren who called him “Pap”: Michael and Nicholas Holdread, Brandon and Kayla Alley, and Sydney and Hunter Dolson; four sisters:
Julane (Vic) Shepard, Judy Alley and Jane (Benny) Sabie, all of Pendleton; and Sue (Jim) Kendall, Winter Haven, Fla.; and a brother: Tom Alley, Pendleton.
He was preceded in death by his parents and sister: Joan Ice.
Visitation will be from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 30, at Owen Family Funeral Home, 8056 E. 500N, North Webster. Funeral services will follow at 7 p.m. Wednesday in the funeral home with Rev. Claude Creel of the Huntsville Good Shepherd Church in Pendleton officiating. Private family burial will take place at a later date.
Memorial bequest may be given to the donor’s choice. Envelopes will be available at the funeral home.