John W. Holtrop

John W. HoltropJan (John) W. Holtrop was born on May 15, 1940 in Kansas City, Mo., to William F. and Pauline M. Holtrop. John passed away April 3, 2020, at the age of 79 in Ridgecrest.

John was preceded in death by his parents, sister Barbara Erden and granddaughter Morgan Elise Holtrop

He was raised in Santa Barbara, graduating from Santa Barbara High School in 1958. He attended the California Maritime Academy, graduating in 1961 with a bachelor of science in marine engineering. He sailed with Military Sea Transport Service delivering supplies and dependents to various American Bases in foreign countries.

Following his stint with MSTS, John joined the Navy, serving for four years. After an additional tour with MSTS, John attended Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo College, graduating in 1970 with a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering. After college, John accepted a position at the Naval Weapons Center, China Lake. He spent his career, after completing a JP Tour, in the survivability department. John was awarded 20-plus patents and selected, by peer vote, to use the title “China Lake Fellow”.

John retired and continued to build and design boats, selling full sized plans over the Internet. Of this, John said “Not much money, but lots of fun challenges”. John built a 40 foot sail boat in his backyard in 1984, named it Spice, and he and Rosie spent many happy times sailing with friends up and down the California coast and the Channel Islands.

John wrote and published articles in Cruising World, Sail and other periodicals on basic boat design. John was active in Sea Scouts and Boy Scouts, sharing his skills in boating with the young boys.

John married his high school sweetheart, Rose Marie Johnson, in 1961, in Santa Barbara. John is survived by his wife, Rosie, sons, Alan William Holtrop (Isabel) and Dr. Eric John Holtrop (Helen), five grandchildren, Heather, Matthew, Jacob, Jack, and Tyler, and Sister Marsha McBaine (Butch).

Living with Parkinson’s disease for 30+ years was a challenge for both John and Rosie. Because of this, they facilitated the Parkinson’s Support Group, beginning about 2001. John looked forward to the meetings, as well as his participation in Rock Steady Boxing and Tai-Chi.

John attended Grace Lutheran Church for many years and loved the church family, never wanting to miss a Sunday Service…or the refreshments in the Fellowship Hall following the service with his friend Dick.

A Celebration of Life will be held at a later time when friends will be able to attend. A donation to the Michael J. Fox Foundation in memory of John would help in support of Parkinson’s Research.

— Submitted by the family of John Holtrop

Story First Published: 2020-06-26