Obituary of John Font
John Francis Font, age 86, passed away on Tuesday November 20, 2018 as a result of complications due to a broken hip and the cumulative impact of Alzheimer’s Disease. He passed at his residence at the Palo Alto Commons, where he had been living since 2013. In his final days he was surrounded by his loving family.
John was born on December 5, 1931 in Brooklyn, New York as Juan Francisco Echeandia, Jr. His parents, Juan and Aurora, migrated from Puerto Rico in 1926. John attended Syracuse University on a lacrosse scholarship where he was named All-American in 1952 and 1953. He received Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from Syracuse and a PhD in Speech Pathology from the University of Pittsburgh in 1958.
From 1954-1958, John served in the U.S. Marine Corps, rising to the rank of Captain. In 1968, Dr. Font returned to Syracuse University as Assistant Professor of Speech Pathology and Audiology. In 1963, he left Syracuse for a faculty position at Stanford University. In 1966, John established the San Jose Speech and Hearing Center. He later created The Beacon School, a private school specializing in assisting high school students with behavioral challenges.
John was married for 23 years to Yolanda DeIorio Font and together they had 5 children. John is survived by his sister Aura Hoover of La Mesa, CA, as well as his children; John Alan Font, Lauren Francis, Daryl Camarillo, Shelly Blanshei, Erika Maniatis, 11 grandchildren, and 2 great grandchildren.
John was an avid cyclist, traveler, and community volunteer. He was Chair of Global Volunteer Network and spent 20 years traveling to Mexico to build housing, schools, and infrastructure to disadvantaged communities. To mark the transformational impact of education in his life, in 1998, Dr. Font established the John Echeandia Font Lacrosse Scholarship at Syracuse University to support lacrosse players in need of financial assistance. This fund has supported nearly 20 students to date.
A celebration of life will be held at 11:00 am on Thursday December 27th at Alta Mesa Memorial Park, 695 Arastradero Road, Palo Alto, California.
In lieu of flowers please give to:
The National Park Foundation: www.nationalparks.org
Alzheimer’s Association: www.alz.org
Sunnyvale Chapel and Crematory
174 North Sunnyvale Avenue
Sunnyvale, California 94086
Telephone: (408) 736-6294
California License FD#: FD910
Mountain View Chapel
799 Castro Street
Mountain View, California 94041
Telephone: (650) 967-5546
California License FD#: FD579
Los Altos Chapel
399 South San Antonio Road
Loa Altos, California 94022
Telephone: (650) 948-6619
California License FD#: FD927
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