John Robert England, age 89, died peacefully at home in Tulsa on Sunday, May 3, 2020. Born January 20, 1931, in Olney, Illinois, John grew up on his family's farm near Bridgeport, Illinois. As a boy, he thoroughly enjoyed life in the country. In his teens he attended Bridgeport Township High School, where he established many enduring friendships. A talented musician, he played trumpet in the marching and concert bands.
A proud Navy veteran, John served as a radio operator on patrol planes during the Korean War. Adventures in Hawaii, Guam, Okinawa, and Hong Kong inspired stories he shared with family and friends throughout his life. Naval aircraft experiences also led to his lifelong love of flight.
After his Navy service, he completed his Bachelor's degree at the University of Illinois. He was a proud member of Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia and the Fighting Illini Marching Band.
John's career began in Los Angeles, where he returned to his love of the aerospace industry, working for Hughes Aircraft in the burgeoning computer department. In 1966, he received an offer from American Airlines to write and analyze code as they, along with IBM, developed what would become the Sabre system that coordinates air travel booking and ticketing globally. His work there afforded him opportunities to develop close friendships with coworkers and travel often. He never met a stranger. He could talk to anyone and everyone, and often did, usually with a cup of coffee in hand.
Through his job at American he met the love of his life, Laura Yvonne (Bonnie) Miller. When they married in 1968, he acquired an instant family in the form of Bonnie's two children. His marriage changed his life for the better in many ways, including leading to his decision to stop drinking alcohol on an historic date, July 20, 1969, the day of the Moon Landing. He and Bonnie enjoyed over 51 years of marriage.
John was preceded in death by his parents, Maurice and Pearl England and sister, Margaret Ann (Francis) Kiel. In addition to his wife, Bonnie, he is survived by his brother, Jim (Reta) England of Carterville, Illinois; daughter, Brenda (Daniel) Sieler; sons, Danny England and Andy (Amy) England; grandchildren, Cameron, Hannah, Emma, Nicole, Simon, and Elliott.
A public viewing was held at Schaudt's Tulsa Funeral Service, 5757 S. Memorial Dr., 74145, on Thursday, May 7th, from 2:00 to 7:00pm. Due to current social distancing restrictions, there will be no public funeral service. A memorial will be held at a later date.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma or First United Methodist Church Tulsa.
Family and friends may share memories and condolences online at www.schaudtfuneralservice.com