John was born in Oregon City, Oregon, 10 minutes before his twin sister Anne. He and Anne joined parents Dr. Frank and Eveline Mount and four older sisters – Jane, Carol, Evie and Ginger.
John is a 1947 graduate of Phillips Exeter Academy in New Hampshire where he was a member of the Aeronautics Group. Since the age of 10, John was fascinated by airplanes. It was then that he commandeered a small building in the family’s yard in Portland and converted it to his workshop where he built assorted model planes. This abiding interest led him to earn a private pilot license and fly his own small plane. Later, he built and flew radio controlled airplanes and in 1998 was the prime mover in the formation of the Orcas RC Aircraft Society.
John volunteered for military service after his schooling, serving three years in the Navy during the Korean war. He was stationed in Pearl Harbor aboard a destroyer escort that captured a North Korean vessel trying to run the blockade in Wonsan Harbor, North Korea. He was rapidly promoted, attaining the rate of Electronics Technician Second Class by the time of his discharge in 1953.
He, his wife Peggy (née Nordstrom) and young daughter moved to Orcas in 1954. John was hired shortly thereafter by locally-owned Inter Island Telephone Co. to switch its system from hand-crank phones to dial phones. The new phones, however, lacked the ability to produce a dial tone. John devised a solution that brought dial tones to San Juan County. He worked for Inter Island until his retirement.
John was the proprietor of the oldest single-owner business in Eastsound. In 1960, he had the Sea View Theater built. Throughout the years, the theater has served the community not only as a movie house, but also as a video rental store and a location for amateur theater and local school groups to perform.
John died October 26 at the age of 88. He is survived by Ingrid McClinton after a commitment of 27 years to each other; daughters Candy Donaldson (Ward) of Seattle; Joey Mount (JT Haglund) of Bend, Oregon; four grandchildren; one great-grandchild; his sister Anne Mount Hay of Portland and Eastsound; and numerous nieces and nephews.
A Memorial Service will be announced later. Donations may be made either to: Lahari, P.O. Box 1252, Eastsound, WA 98245, or to the Scholarship Fund of the Orcas RC Aircraft Society, c/o Norm Zimlich, Treasurer, P.O. Box 166, Deer Harbor, WA 98243.