John White Grant, a resident of Jay, ME passed away peacefully Sunday, January 12, 2020 at his home in Summerfield, FL. He was born Jan. 22, 1947, the last surviving beloved son of John White Grant and Stella Mable (Henry) Grant. John was the last surviving son of the Grant family of 10 children, six boys and four girls.
John was an active member of the Jay Baptist Church, attending church, Sunday School, Baptist Youth Fellowship and Junior Choir. He graduated from Jay High School in 1965 and joined the US Navy, completing basic training at the Great Lakes Naval Training Center. He trained in communications at Goodfellow Air Force Base in Texas and learned to speak Russian at the Defense Language Institute West Coast in Monterey, CA. In Bremerton, WA, he was assigned to the ill-fated USS Pueblo, the ship that was captured by the North Koreans on January 23, 1968, a day after his 21st birthday.
He remained in captivity as a prisoner of war in North Korea for 11 months, returning back to San Diego, when the crew was released in December 1968. His plan to make a career in the Navy didn’t materialize, due to his experiences as a prisoner of war. He eventually returned home to Maine and on December 9, 1972, he married his soul mate, Deborah Pillsbury Grant of Farmington and they had one son and two daughters.
He worked in many professions from truck driver to factory worker and from Maine to Arkansas, but finally found his calling at the age of 35 when he became a minister in the Baptist Church. Eventually he moved his family back to Maine in 1984 and began ministering in the Church of the Nazarene. He took the Elder Course of Study through Nazarene Bible College and was ordained on May 28, 1999. During his time in ministry, he ministered with his wife as an evangelist preaching and singing throughout churches in Maine. In 1992, he answered the call to a full time pastorate at the Bethel Church of the Nazarene in Bethel, ME. He would then go on to serve as a Co-Pastor with his wife at the Lighthouse Church of the Nazarene in Wells, ME and the Portland Church of the Nazarene in Portland, ME.
He was predeceased by his parents, brothers Everard, Joseph, Edward and Ronald, sisters Inza Grant, Eloise Nichols Brackett and Bertha Drummond Welch.
He is survived by his wife of 47 years, his son Joseph E. Grant and wife Donna of Madison, ME, daughters Stephanie Grant McIlwain and husband Andrew of Durham, NC, and Crystal Grant of Summerfield, FL, his sister and brother-in-law, Sandi and Rene Grondin of Livermore, ME; grandchildren Ryan Brown, Dylan Brown, Zakary Brown, Liliana Wilkinson, Roman Grant Wilkinson and a great grandson Skylar Brown.
To honor John, the family request donations be made to the Stair Chair Lift Fund of the Leesburg Church of the Nazarene of Leesburg, FL.