A member of “the greatest generation,” John Mitchel Potter, 97, passed away on Saturday, April 22, 2017, at his home in Goodview, Minn., surrounded by his loving family. John was born in Amherst, Minn., on May 6, 1919. He was the son of Frank and Mary Potter. He is survived by his wife of 41 years, Miriam Potter; children, Cynthia (Rick) Withrow, James (Tracy) Potter and Jann Potter; step-daughters, Betty (Allan) Torres-Forbord, Vivian (Chris Schuchart) Torres and Rebecca Torres; grandchildren, Christine, Grant, Amy, Corey, Ryan and Kiara; step-grandchildren, Katy, Josh, Katie, Alicia, Sarah, Gabriela, Alexa and Antonio; four great-grandchildren and three step-great-grandchildren; sisters, Mary (Grant) Bergemann and Eva Wendt; sister-in-law, Kathy Potter; special relative, Bev Potter; and many nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his brothers, Harlow, Clyde, Charles, Frank, and Danny; and sisters, Gladys and Geraldine.
John served in the United States Army Air Corps, later known as the United States Air Force, from 1941-1947. He was stationed in many countries in Europe, and in Guam as a technical sergeant during World War II. While serving he received the following honors: Good Conduct Medal 44 Unit Citation, European-African-Middle Eastern Theater Service Medal, American Defense Service Medal, four Overseas Service Bars and two lapel buttons. After his return from the war, John held various jobs and was most proud of being ordained as a Pastor on June 13, 1959, in Madison, Wis., by the renowned H. Clifford Northcott of the United Methodist Church. He served as a minister in Westby and Stoddard, Wis. He also obtained a real estate broker license in Minnesota and Wisconsin and worked in that position until his retirement. He enjoyed volunteering at nursing homes. He was a proud member of the American Legion and the Disabled American Veterans.
John will be remembered for his generosity, loving nature, attention to detail and words of support and wisdom. He was a loving husband, caring father and grandfather. The most important things to him in life were his family, close circle of friends and faith. The family wishes to thank his special friend, Terry Gray; his doctor at Winona Health, Jennifer Forsyth; and the very caring and compassionate staff at Winona Hospice.
The interment will be held on Friday, April 28, 2017, at 10 a.m. at Fort Snelling National Cemetery, 7601 34th Avenue South, Minneapolis, Minn., 55450. A Celebration of John’s Life will be at 2 p.m. on Saturday, April 29, 2017, at Hoff Celebration of Life Center, Goodview, with Funeral Celebrant Tim Hoff officiating. Visitation will be from 1 p.m. until the time of service.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Project FINE, 202 West Third Street, Winona, Minn., 55987; or Winona Hospice, 175 East Wabasha Street, Winona, Minn., 55987; or the charity of your choice. Hoff Celebration of Life Center, Goodview, is assisting the family.