We are saddened to learn that former LightHouse Board member John H. Maxson has passed away.
John died on August 23, a day before his 73rd birthday. He served on the LightHouse Board of Directors from 2006 through 2008. He lived in Crescent City, California and was instrumental in the establishment and growth of our North Coast satellite, helping our staff there make many helpful connections in the community.
John had a notable and lengthy work history providing services to people who are blind or have low vision. He was a teacher and Rehabilitation Director at the New Mexico School for the Visually Impaired from 1976-1978. He was the director of the Foundation for Blind Children in Phoenix. He was the Executive Director of the professional organization that would become the Association for Education and Rehabilitation for the Blind and Visually Impaired, a national organization. And he was the Training Coordinator for a federally funded program called the National Research Training Center on Blindness and Low Vision, housed at Mississippi State University. In addition John was part of the pioneering effort that established the Hall of Fame for Leaders and Legends in the Blindness Field.
LightHouse North Coast Social Worker Janet Pomerantz said this about John Maxson, “John was a tireless advocate for the blindness community on the North Coast. He was a dedicated LightHouse board member and generously sponsored luncheons and activities to bring together community members from Humboldt and Del Norte Counties. He was a creative thinker and brought a sense of humor and wisdom to the LightHouse North Coast Advisory Board. He always asked about our families and was interested in getting to know and support the staff of the North Coast. We are sorry to lose this gentle person and advocate.”
John is survived by his wife Dona and his daughters Jenny and Kym and by 6 grandchildren. John was recommended for the LightHouse Board by past President Gil Johnson, a longtime friend. Past President Mike Cole served with John on the board as did David Chan, Joseph Chan, Todd Stevenot, Kathleen Knox, and Past President Barbara Lassen.
There will be a funeral and military burial for John’s ashes on September 16, in Crescent City.