John H. Coon Jr
1912 - 2007
John H. Coon Jr., a Rotarian since 1947, President of the Rotary Club of Reading in 1963-64, Governor of Rotary International District 743 in 1971-72, passed away June 14, 2007.
John was a key member of the group that launched Youth Exchange in District 743, the predecessor of District 7430. Tapped on the shoulder shortly after serving as President, and with the full support and active involvement of his wife Audrey, John dove in with enthusiasm. The program grew to involve as many as 60 students or more, both coming to the United States and going overseas, each year. The couple hosted over 15 students in their Wyomissing home. They mentored many leaders of the Youth Exchange Program over the years.
John served on the district committee from 1964 until 1979, including a stint as chairman from 1974 to 1977. When not an active committee member, he and Audrey were never far from its work. He was a charter member of the Eastern States Student Exchange (ESSEX) network. He and Audrey traveled to Belgium, France, Germany, The Netherlands, Mexico and Brazil to promote Rotary Youth Exchange. They regularly participated in District Youth Exchange activities into the 21st century. Audrey’s “toothpaste” talk was a feature of the orientation for both parents and students.
Born in Buffalo, N.Y., John was a son of the late John H. Coon Sr. and Ellen (Royer) Coon. He was a 1929 graduate of Loyola High School in Baltimore, Md.; a 1933 graduate of Loyola College and a 1935 graduate of Harvard School of Business Administration. He was employed as a branch manager by Pittsburgh Plate Glass Industries Inc. for 30 years until his retirement in 1969. He was the executive director of the Building Industries Exchange in 1971, retiring again in 1975.
In addition to his devotion to Rotary, John served as the “voice” of Holy Name High School Football for 30 years, announcing the games and keeping statistics on the team.
John and Audrey had three daughters, Kathleen C. (Coon) Kellerman, Marthe C. (Coon) Hitchcock and Christine C. (Coon) Ciotti. There are seven grandchildren.
M. McCarthy/ D. Frantz