OBITUARY FOR JOHN P HEFFERNAN III BSE MSE PE
Dec 16, 1977 –OCT 2, 2018
A tragedy has struck our family unexpectedly this past week, with the death of our third born, and only son, John.
John’s connections run worldwide, and we are experiencing an outpouring of grief from many friends and business associates. We will try here to provide you with the information needed to realize how far-reaching his kindness, support, and professional guidance was for many in his life. We are a military family, and as such, he lived an extraordinary life of continued travel, friends, and work opportunities. His goal was always to “Swing for the Fences”, and this encompassed his life.
John was born in Syracuse, New York, on Dec 16th, 1977 in the same hospital where his Dad was born in 1943. USAF tour took us back to our home and family for 3 years, so his roots are deep in the Heffernan tradition of Irish migration to Central New York which dates back to the early 1800’s. He was a true Irishman. Had the Heffernan Irish Crest inscribed on his arm. Loved the Irish décor, flags, and especially St Patrick’s Day! We have spoken with several friends who always got a call on St Pats Day. John came home to be with his family and will remain with us until he will eventually make his way back to his homeland in our family burial site in Cazenovia, NY.
John traveled on his first flight at age 3 months when his Mom and I went to visit friends at Travis AFB, Ca, where we transferred to in August 1978. He attended Pre- school and Kindergarten at Orchard Road School, in Vacaville Calif. There were 3 John’s in his class, so he was dubbed John 1. This stayed with him forever in our family.
We moved on to Tempe, AZ in 1984, where our family has called home for over 34 years. John attended Cielo Elementary and Pueblo Middle School, and was an original family member of St Andrews Catholic Church, where he will complete his journey thru a short life on Friday, Oct 12th. Our family is devastated. Our original Pastor, Fr Joe Hennessey, will be conducting John’s final mass. They go back a long way, John having served as an Altar Boy for 3 years, completed his Eagle Scout Project with the support of the church and Fr Joe, and First Communion in 1985. He also taught in the RE program, and sponsored in the RCIA programs. John was a firm believer in the Catholic Faith and God. His Religion carried him thru tough times in his life. As difficult as this is for the rest of us, we know he’s going to be ok.
Another family step into the Airlines led John to Center, PA, a small community just North of Pittsburgh. He attended Center High School, and Graduated in 1996. Played all sports, enjoyed the closeness of 135 members of the Class of 1996, many of whom we have shared our grief with in the last few days. Great group of friends that we had the privilege of sharing John with. We found a receipt for $5.00 for John’s Mom adopting one of two great friends in his life, a Black Lab named Shelby from the Center Shelter. She was with him for many years, and was followed by another truly exceptional Lab friend, Kendall. That’s her in the picture with John on a hike in the Malibu, CA Mountains.
John was a member of the Class of 2000, at the Air Force Academy. Many true, close friends still from this world have reached out to us. Many Friends, many stories, many pictures. Awesome He completed his formal education at Arizona State University, where he ultimately Graduated in Dec 2002 with A Master of Science Degree in Civil Engineering.
He was excited when his first job took him to Malibu, CA, as an engineer for the City. He worked at this until 2005, when he formed his own company, JPH EQUITIES, with John and his Dad as the main members, which remains in place today. From 2005 thru 2017, was a true adventure for him. “Swinging for the Fences” covers it all. He contracted for several Fortune 500 Companies, with the main emphasis on Commercial Real Estate Development, taught at Pepperdine and Drexel Universities, had an apartment on Central Park in NYC, the list is endless. Always busy, always a friend and advisor, always remained close to his family. Yet again, another world of truly great friends from his 15 years in Calif, Bless you all for being with us now.
John wanted to be home with his family. He was contemplating this for many months, and finally made the decision to move back to Tempe during the 2017 Holidays. His sisters and two nieces are here, and he always felt he was missing too much. We were elated to have him back, and he actually ended up purchasing the house right next store to us! Said he wanted to be around to help us if needed, and reconnect with Arizona. He was considering a run for Political office in 2020, and became active in the local district organizations. He also was involved with a group who Rescues and Fosters Labradors, and was supposed to be starting in October. His Family room has two large Dog Beds, dishes and etc ready to go. Heartbreaking. Click the link for donations to this group and for college funds for his two nieces https://www.gofundme.com/john-p-heffernan-iii-memorial-fund?sharetype=teams&member=895402&pc=sms_sf_co2876_v1&rcid=e64e5873ad5240198dc1753ebaa8761f
John was associated with many national organizations, some of the biggest being the MBA Mortgage Bankers Association, American Society of Civil Engineers, California Mortgage Brokers Association, was currently teaching in the College of Engineering Construction at Drexel University, Philadelphia, along with being the President of JPH Equities, Scottsdale, AZ. His Linked In site has contacts in the thousands.
A “Free Spirit” who rode Harleys, owned a 1962 Black Cadillac Convertible, aptly named “The Bird, a great friend to many, a True Relationship with God, loved his family, and came home to us to be close. We are all devastated, and were looking forward to our remaining years with all of our family together in Arizona.
The phone, email, and social media response has not stopped. Please use this site to let us know your feelings. It will carry us on thru what is, and will be a really tough time in our lives.
John is survived by his parents, Jack and Reenie, Sisters Kelly Munoz and Eileen Goltz, and two very special nieces, Meghan and Emily Munoz.
Lastly, we are Blessed with many friends and family who will be traveling to Arizona to honor our son and their dear friend. Our Church, St Andrew the Apostle, which we have been members of since 1984, is taking great care of us at a time when we really need support. The Visitation and Mass will begin at 10:00AM on Friday, Oct 12, 2018, followed by a luncheon at St. Andrew the Apostle Catholic Church 3450 W. Ray Rd. Chandler, Az 85226. Our family has decided to also hold a gathering at John’s new home in the afternoon. He wanted to do a house warming party, so his will take place Friday afternoon. He was very proud and excited about his new home. Please stop by if you can. Directions available Friday, a 5-minute trip from the Church. His joy was rummage and garage sales. Enough said. Come and see.
Our hearts are broken. Thanks for all your support.
The Heffernan Family