John P. Holup, Jr., our beloved husband, father, grandfather, brother, and friend to so many passed away peacefully on December 14, 2020 at the age of 85 after suffering a catastrophic stroke.
He was born on December 23, 1934 and grew up on the east side of Toledo, Ohio. His parents, Veronica and John Sr., were both orphans. John is survived by his wife of 58 years, Sara, his daughters, Jill (Tod) and Joan (Thomas), grandsons Riley and Trey, brother Bob Holup, and sister Rosemary Tammarine.
As a young man, John worked numerous jobs, none of which really interested him too much until he found a vocation that he liked and was good at with Singer Sewing Machine. He was always proud of his work at Singer, and throughout his life, he continued to repair broken sewing machines for friends and neighbors.
He was encouraged by his wife to start college at age 28 and graduated cum laude from Bowling Green State University (BGSU) in three years, after which he was hired to teach at Toledo’s Waite High School. Education would thereafter be his joyful career and teaching one of his true passions. His relationships with his students often turned into lifelong friendships. He completed his Master’s degree at Bowling Green while still teaching at Waite and then taught one year at BGSU prior to accepting a teaching position at the University of Idaho.
In 1971, John, Sara, and their three small children left the only place they had ever known, Ohio, and moved to Moscow, Idaho, where he and Sara raised their family and lived for the rest of his life.
John taught for 24 years at the U of I and retired as a Professor Emeritus of Marketing Education in 1995. While teaching at Idaho, he earned a Doctorate from Washington State University. Upon completing his Ph.D., his children were (jokingly) instructed to call him “Dr. Dad.” He was bestowed with many honors, too many to recount here, most recently with the BGSU Business Education Distinguished Alumni Award.
While always saddened by the loss of daughter Gail in an auto accident, he wrote recently that he had had a great life with wife Sara, daughters and sons-in-law, and his grandsons and fishing buddies Riley and Trey. Idaho and its beauty were among the loves of his life. Especially after retiring from teaching, he could be found in his fishing boat multiple days of the week. John was a legendary fisherman and while some fishermen might have wanted to keep the good spots a secret, John was the opposite; he enthusiastically shared his knowledge and love of that sport with countless others. He could often be seen around Moscow, delivering fresh fish to friends for dinner. Often the delivery would be accompanied by a lively conversation that would include a rundown of recent sporting events; he was an enthusiastic sports fan (basketball was his favorite), and always rooted especially for the Idaho Vandals and Gonzaga Bulldogs.
John never met a stranger, befriending all who crossed his path. He lived a big, meaningful, wonderful life and with a heart full of generosity and giving, touched so many others’ lives over the years. His kindness toward and curiosity about people from all walks of life was truly special. His world travels and many friends from different cultures enriched his life and theirs. Some people really do make the world a better place; he was one of them. He gave to and volunteered with many local organizations. If you would like to honor him with a donation, two of the organizations he supported were Sojourners’ Alliance and the Latah Recovery Center; or choose one that makes you think of John.
To honor John, his family will warmly welcome family, friends, and community to celebrate his remarkable life at a gathering to be held in the spring or summer.
To send flowers to John's family, please visit our floral store.