John D. Healy Jr.
ST. PAUL, Minn. — John D. Healy, Jr., 84, of St. Paul, MN. Born December 19, 1934 in Houghton, died on October 14, 2019 in St. Paul.
John and Gretchen were childhood friends and high school sweethearts. John graduated from Houghton High School in 1952, where he lettered in football and also played hockey. After graduating from St Thomas College in St. Paul, he served in the U.S. Navy, then attended the University of Michigan Law School. He spent a year clerking for the Oregon Supreme Court, and became a partner at the Oppenheimer Law Firm in St. Paul for 35 years.
A lifelong Catholic, John’s deep spiritual beliefs shaped and guided all aspects of his life. He generously spent many hours volunteering his time and talents for his church, pro-life organizations, and the local community.
His awards and activities include: St Thomas Humanitarian of the Year Award; President of the Ramsey County Bar Association; Vice President Fort Snelling State Parks Association; President St. Paul Serra Club; Board member of the MN Physician-Patient Alliance; founding member and President of Citizens for Community Action; Board member St. Paul Foundation; charter member of the International Frisbee Association.
John and his three brothers created the still popular game, Guts Frisbee, and hosted the first Frisbee tournament in Eagle Harbor in 1958.
John lived the motto “work hard, play hard.” An avid outdoorsman, he enjoyed hiking, biking, camping and canoeing. He biked and played softball and ice hockey, into his 80s.
John’s favorite and most important roles were husband, father, and grandpa. With the onset of dementia, he started to lose his mental acuity, but never lost his sweet and generous nature or his sense of humor. Even when he wasn’t sure who you were, he would greet you with a smile and a handshake!
He is preceded in death by parents, John D. Healy Sr. and Katherine Hicok Healy; stepmother, Eleanor “Ellie” Thompson Healy; brothers, Timothy Healy and Peter “Becca” Healy; sister-in-law, Colleen Healy; brother-in-law, Juan Mentink.
He is survived by “favorite wife” of 61 years, Gretchen Hamar Healy; brothers, Robert “Boots” Healy, Michael Healy (Irene); sister, Mary Healy Mentink; sisters-in-law, Mary Sanregret Healy and Ingrid Healy Lynch; seven children, Margaret (Mike) Pickard, Susan (Mehdi) Rafian, Rev. Father Daniel Healy, Paul (Tico) Healy, Joan Healy (John Andrastek), Peter (Cole) Healy, and Rebecca Healy; beloved Grandpa to 18 grandchildren, Claire, Joseph, Luke and George Pickard, Jahan, Ehsan, Paymon, Arman, and Kian Rafian, Shane and Ryan Healy, Sam, Henry, Bridget, Alice and Elizabeth Andrastek, Olin and Victoria Healy; beloved “Uncle Jake” to many nieces and nephews.
Special thanks to Ehsan Rafian, Paymon Rafian, and Henry Andrastek for their loving care of Grandpa in his final years.
A Mass of Christian Burial was held Friday, October 18 at Nativity of Our Lord Church, St Paul, celebrated by his son, Rev. Fr. Daniel Healy. Interment was at Resurrection Cemetery, Mendota Heights, Minnesota. Condolences may be sent to the family at 2087 St. Clair Ave., St. Paul, MN, 55105.
Memorials to Prolife Across America, 2817 Anthony Lane S. #312, Minneapolis, MN 55418 or donor’s choice.