Rev. John M. McMath passed away at Sequoia Springs Assisted Care in Fortuna on Sept. 30, 2008, at the age of 90, of Parkinson's Disease.
He was born in Wagon Mound, N.M., on Feb. 25, 1918, to James and Iva Countryman McMath. When John was 7 years old, his family moved to Upland, Ind.
John learned creativity and diligence from his Grandpa Countryman. John became an Eagle Scout and won a trip to the Chicago World's Fair for selling the most Indianapolis News subscriptions in Upland. He was on the basketball and swim teams in both high school and college. After high school, John was an apprentice printer. He then decided to follow his calling to become a minister.
John married Mary V. Ladd on September 8, 1940. They attended college in Illinois and Michigan. John worked on the railroad and served two churches. In 1944, the family moved to Atlanta, where John graduated from Emory University's School of Divinity
He was the pastor of Methodist churches in Georgia and Indiana. The family moved to California in 1951, where John served churches in South Sacramento, Rio Linda, Crescent City, Porterville, Atwater, Auburn and again in Rio Linda.
The McMaths helped with rescue and recovery during both the Crescent City tsunami and 1964 flood.
"Mac"organized youth activities in his churches, including a work camp to Alaska. He directed several church camps within the California-Nevada Conference. John loved to teach classes in Christian theology. He put his thoughts into his book, "The Now of Our Human Destiny."
In 1980, John and Mary retired to their property in the foothills of El Dorado County.
Rev. McMath is survived by his wife of 68 years, Mary; five children, Ruth Guinane of San Luis Obispo County, Jo Anne Center (Rick) of Fortuna, John McMath, Jr. (Carol) of West Linn, Ore., James McMath (Sabine) of Santa Fe, N.M., and Jane Chang (Jerry) of Dinuba; nine grandchildren and 13 great-grandchildren; a sister, Ellen Lambert of Warsaw, Ind., and a brother, Jim McMath (Marjorie) of Walton,, Ind.
A celebration of John's life was held at the Fortuna United Methodist Church on Oct. 3.
Donations may be made in John's memory to the Endowment Board of the United Methodist Church, 37 W, Yokuts, Suite A-3, Stockton CA 95207; Hospice of Humboldt, 2010 Myrtle Avenue, Eureka 95501; or the Fortuna United Methodist Church, P.O. Box 246, Fortuna 95540.
Arrangements were under the Care of Goble's Fortuna Mortuary.