Thursday, January 14, 2016

John Smallenburg, BHS '63 (1945-2016)

Sad news from Trudie Lombard Hentze...

Carol Smallenburg Benson's brother, John BHS '63, passed away on January 5th from lung cancer. Copy and paste the following website for more information and to leave a message for the family.

A celebration of John' life will be held at the Castaway's Valley View Room on Sunday, January 24th, from 7 to 10 PM.

John Lynden Smallenburg

John Lynden Smallenburg
September 15, 1945 - January 5, 2016
Avon Lake, Ohio | Age 70

John Lynden Smallenburg, 70, of Avon Lake OH, formerly of Burbank CA, passed away Tuesday January 5, 2016 following a brief battle with lung cancer. He was born on September 15, 1945 in Los Angeles CA and had lived in Avon Lake the past 8 years.

John was a graduate of California State University of Los Angeles with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and a minor in Art. He had a 34 year career as an art teacher at Crescenta Valley High School in La Crescenta, CA and happily served as the school's golf coach for 17 years.

John had a variety of passions. He was an accomplished golfer winning many tournaments locally and in the Golf Channel Senior Amateur Tour nationally. An avid fisherman, John accomplished his lifetime goal of fishing for Peacock Bass on the Amazon. For many years he and his buddies hiked and backpacked throughout the Sierras. After teaching art, John discovered that he loved creating Found Art Assemblage. He and his wife hosted over 100 workshops featuring international artists and instructors. John was pleased to be invited to exhibit his work at several venues.

John is survived by wife Ginny (Carter Gfeller) whom he married March 21, 2005 and children John P. Smallenburg (Jessica) of Alhambra CA and Kate Burch (Margee) of Berkeley CA. Other survivors include his bonus family as he insisted on calling his stepchildren: Wesley Carter (Wendy) of Stafford VA; Tim Carter (Karen) of Brecksville OH and Amy denHeyer of Las Vegas NV. He is also survived by grandchildren Estella and Serenity Burch and Kurtis Carter (Michelle), Kelsey Carter, Alexandra Carter, Ginny denHeyer, Amanda denHeyer, Joe Carter, Tony Carter, Cees denHeyer, Rachel Carter and Ryan Carter. He will be missed by his siblings Harry Smallenburg (Leanne), Carol Benson (Frank) and Bob Smallenburg. He is preceded in death by his parents Harry and Carol Jane (nee Thornton) Smallenburg.

In Lieu of flowers John's family suggest memorials take the form of contributions to the American Cancer Society at or The First Tee, a program for young people which instills life-enhancing values through the game of golf at

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