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John P. Botten

Obituary for John P. Botten

November 22, 1922 - November 21, 2019
Rocaky River, Ohio | Age 96

Loving Father


John "Jack" Plantinga Botten, Fairview Park; dear father of Peter O Botten and John A Botten, and survived by his former spouse and mother of his children, Ruth Ann (nee Armstrong) Botten of Vermilion, OH. Jack believed that life should be lived as an adventure, and he did that better than anyone. Born in Cleveland to a family with roots dating to the city's earliest years, Jack, at age 12, began a life of adventure when for a time in the mid 1930's, he and his brother Bill lived with their grandparents on the island of Oahu. Homeschooled in the mornings, afternoons were freely spent exploring the oceans and volcanic mountains around them. Jack graduated from Collinwood High School in 1942, and was off to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to study engineering. A member of the SAE fraternity, Jack's college years were soon interrupted by WWII. January of 1944 found Jack on active duty as a Captain in the 86th Fighter-Bomber Group of the United States Army Air Corps. He completed 120 combat missions as an A-36 and P-47 fighter pilot in the European Theater of Operations and was awarded The Distinguished Flying Cross. After the war, Jack returned to MIT, but the post-war economic boom in Cleveland compelled Jack's uncle to ask him to come home to work for the family business, The Owen Bucket Company. Jack eventually succeeded to become President of the company, and once again alongside his brother Bill, continued the proud family tradition of designing and manufacturing the heavy industrial digging equipment that had helped to build much of Cleveland. Jack was a 68 year member of The Cleveland Yachting Club, and with his young family on the Clamshell, their 31' Chris-Craft Commander, enjoyed many summers exploring the many then yet uncharted parts of the North Channel. Retirement did not bring an end to adventure. In the 1970's, Jack, with urging from his brother Bill, began to spend more time in the Florida Keys on Key Colony Beach. An avid tennis player and sports fisherman, Jack, with his brother, also supported local conservation efforts by helping to tag sharks in Florida Bay. Art and Music were always a joy during Jack's life, and these interests continued their expression alongside his good friend Charlotte Reid. The pair loved to dance to area Dixieland jazz bands, and both were involved with the The Lakewood Art League; Jack serving as treasurer for many years. Truly, a life of adventure well lived. Passed away on November 21, 2019, just one day shy of his 97th birthday. In lieu of flowers memorial contributions may be made to: 86 Fighter Bomber Group Association, c/o R.J. Rose, Treasurer, 1823 Saddlebrook Ln., De Pere, WI 54115. Friends may call at the Busch Funeral Home, 21369 Center Ridge Road, Fairview Park on Thursday, December 5, 2019 from 4-8pm. Graveside service on Friday, December 6, 2019 at 2pm at Knollwood Cemetery, 1678 Som Center Road, Mayfield Heights. 440-333-9774

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Suggested Memorial Donations

  • 86 Fighter Bomber Group Association, c/o R.J. Rose, Treasurer
    1823 Saddlebrook Lane
    De Pere, WI 54115

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Busch Funeral and Crematory Services

21369 Center Ridge Road
Fairview Park, OH 44116
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