John Harold Fannin

December 24, 1942 - June 21, 2010

The family and friends of John Harold Fannin are sad to announce his passing following a brief illness.

John Fannin John H. Fannin
December 24, 1942 - June 21, 2010 

John was to all who knew him the supreme "Gentle Man" whose generosity knew no bounds. His friends are from all walks of life from the top of the ladder to first rung. Each will attest to his unassuming manner of kindness and care.

John (aka "Bush" and "Coach") was born in Maywood, CA, and spent his early childhood and elementary school years at John Brown Military Academy in Long Beach, CA. When his family moved to Saudi Arabia he continued his elementary education at Senior Staff School, Abqaiq. John lived in Abqaiq with his parents Harold and Kay Fannin from the early 50s and continued to visit the town and them until the late 60s. He graduated from 9th Grade in 1957 and from then on became the ultimate Returning Student. He may even have the title of oldest Returning Student when he left.

While in the Abqaiq (Deserteers) School, John was active in all sports. In fact the basics and skills he learned from Coach Beavers set him in good stead for his coaching career at Stanley Clark School where he worked for 37 years. He was well known for his outstanding history classes and depth of historical knowledge. John had 504 Facebook friends to attest to his ongoing popularity. As expected, his Facebook page is filled with an outpouring of emotion from former students with whom he kept in contact.

He graduated from the Notre Dame International School (NDI), Rome, Italy, and earned both bachelor's (political science) and master's (Russian history) degrees at the University of Oklahoma. While John was in the hospital his NDI classmates were gathering in Las Vegas for their 50th reunion. After co-planning the event he was not able to attend, but received visits from these outstanding men in the hospital for what turned out to be a final handshake. The NDI folks are planning a special award in his name at Stanley Clark School.

Upon graduation from OU in 1967, he found his first teaching job in South Bend, IN. Surrounded for the next 37 years by legions of Fighting Irish supporters; he happily remained a lifelong OU football fan. Employed by The Stanley Clark School, John's career included the positions of history teacher, football and basketball coach, athletic director, chairman of the social studies department, and director of the summer school program. In addition, he was chairman of the curriculum committee, supervisor of the SSAT Testing Program, Middle School Head, Upper School Head, and Assistant Headmaster.

Actively involved in the South Bend community, John was Chairman (Education Division) of United Way, served on the boards of the Indiana Non-Public Education Association and the National Council for Social Studies, and volunteered with the Michiana Council for the Arts and Sciences. He was a member of the Organization of American Historians, a coach with the Michiana Soccer Association, the Teacher-Coordinator of the Junior Achievement Project Business, and Midwest Director of the Notre Dame International (Rome) Alumni Association.

John's additional professional experience included serving on evaluation committees for the Independent Schools Association of the Central States (ISACS), serving on the Ad hoc Admissions Committee of St. Joseph High School in South Bend, and being an active member of the Project S.C.O.P.E. Summer Enrichment Program.

Following his retirement, John was recipient of the Sagamore of the Wabash Award, the highest distinction in Indiana awarded by the state governor.

While leaving a legacy of compassionate guidance and lively classroom discussions, John will be remembered for his generous nature; he and his family provided funding for Fannin Hall, home of Stanley Clark's early childhood program. He will also be remembered as a gracious host whose door was always open both during his teaching days and beyond. He was a central figure in all of the school's athletic and alumni events.

After relocating to Las Vegas, NV, John continued as Stanley Clark's informal alumni liaison and hosted throngs of alumni both individually and through alumni related events. He essentially became the west coast face of Stanley Clark School, entertaining visitors who passed through Las Vegas. Wherever he went, John influenced people in a positive way. He easily made friends of adults but devoted his entire adult life to kids.

When John retired to Las Vegas, he gave up his family home in favor of a classy fifth floor condo across from his favorite Hilton Casino overlooking many parts of Las Vegas city. He could walk to the Sports book! Though not much of a high stakes gambler he could usually quote the odds on most events. As the private elevator opened onto his foyer the visitor was immediately transported into a Saudi museum. Beyond the front door were Arab doors hanging on the walls, coffee pots in corners camel saddle stools, and Arab sandals on the wall Aramco memories up and down all the halls and in all the rooms. His collection of Kuwaiti chests would awe anyone. His Saudi background, cleverly saved by his mother Kay Fannin, was to surround him from then on.

John's particular pride was in his mother's art which adorned every wall along with oils by Johnnie Guyon, and Pete Ballard (in his Aubergine Guest Room).

It would not be fair to lead you OU/NDI people astray. His front hall was devoted to Oklahoma University and his bedroom hall right wall was dedicated to NDI while the left side was the Stanley Clark School representation of 37 wonderful years.

To those who knew John he was the supreme funny man. His marvelous wit was only matched by his grace under fire. Hear a laugh? Find John!

John's sense of loyalty to his family, his school and his friends could not be dented. His pleasant cheerful greeting was always genuine; wherever he went someone would greet him by name. His friends were CEOs, Major League ballplayers, board members, valets, you, and me.

John was frugal with himself but so very generous to others. He lived as he wished and we are all better for having known him. To call John Fannin humble, unassuming, generous, and loyal is to define his life in the highest terms.

He will rest with his parents in Davis Memorial Gardens, Las Vegas across from the airport runway that took him to all the places and people he loved. He used to say, "When I go, take me, Keotah, Dad and the pets and bring us together again!"

John is survived by his cousins Dan and Harold Carpenter, J. Gail Cuthbertson, Bill Fannin, Judy Gonzales, Bobby King, Barbara Luke, Glenda Mann, and Doris Walton. Others mourning his loss include his adopted families in Las Vegas, Tulsa, and South Bend.

Memorial services celebrating John's life will be held in Las Vegas on July 10, 2010 at 2pm at the Stirling Club on Paradise Rd. followed by a short gathering and South Bend, IN, at a later date.

In lieu of flowers, the family is honoring John's request that donations be made in his memory to The Stanley Clark School, 3123 Miami Street, South Bend, Indiana 46614 for a special award in his honor.

The South Bend Memorial will be July 31st at 11am at Stanley Clark School.

Shared by Karen Fallon (

1 Comment for “John Fannin Passed Away”

  1. Gravatar of karenfallonkarenfallon
    Posted Tuesday, July 06, 2010 at 1:55:49 PM

    Please tell anyone who would want to know about John. We are not sure the word got out to everyone. The South Bend Memorial will be July 31st at 11am at Stanley Clark School.
    Thanks, Karen

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