Richard C. St. John


Richard Clair St. John January 14, 1929-March 6, 2019 Midland, GA- Richard Clair St. John, 90, passed away on Wednesday morning, March 6, 2019 at his home in Midland, Georgia surrounded by his family.

He was born January 14, 1929 in Worthington, Minnesota to Clair Hovey and Margaret Barum St.John of Heron Lake, MN. He was preceded in death by his devoted parents; his loving first wife Elaine C. St. John (nee Pehrsson); brothers Robert, Thomas, and Chuck; step-daughter Carmen Ortiz Bruce; grandson David Ashley Bruce; and great-grandsons Hayden Ward and Donovan Gentry.

Richard graduated from Worthington High School in 1947 and immediately went to work for his Grandfather at the St. John's Grain & Seed Company. As a true patriot, he volunteered for service with the Minnesota National Guard and served with valor in Korea where he earned the Combat Infantry Badge, the United Nations Service Medal and the Korean Service Medal with 2 Bronze Service Stars. He completed his service as a Sergeant First Class Armory Foreman in October 1952. After the war, he soon met and married the late Elaine Pehrsson. Richard trained as a mechanical engineer, earning a Bachelor of Mechanical Engineering from the University of Minnesota in 1957 and a Masters degree in engineering from Northwestern University . Richard was an accomplished and successful engineer, working for several firms before founding his own company, Baseline Engineering in Canton, Ohio. He held patents for many items still in use for military and commercial applications including an innovative tensioner for pulleys, a centrifugal clutch, truck air horns, brakes, fuses and timers for military ammunition, and balancing systems for ballistic missiles. Richard was a member of several professional organizations including the American Society for Quality Control, National Society of Professional Engineers, Society of Automotive Engineers, and Society of Manufacturing Engineers.

Richard loved to work with his hands - making wagons for children and projects for friends. He had an engineer's focus and a father's giving heart. His varied interests included the stock market, politics, and American history. Richard also loved the simple things in life like reading from his Kindle, eating ice cream, and taking his dog Oki for a walk. Richard was a man of wisdom, generosity, and love. He was a mentor to his nieces & nephews (Eric St.John, Kari St.John, Lon Richard St.John, Bruce St.John, Mary Ann Montgomery, BJ St.John-Rhines, Lina Fanning, Melanie St.John, and Shelly St.John), his new found children (Thomas Bruce, Elia Moran (James), Ivy Sparks (Thomas), Lori Conner (Roger), Louis Ortiz (Chelsea), Dee Ortiz, 21 grandchildren, 30 great-grandchildren, and his dear friend and brother-in-law Pehr Pehrsson, sister-in-law Marcia Pehrsson, and 6 nieces and nephews from his first marriage to Elaine Pehrsson. These loved ones are left to honor his memory along with his loving wife of 21 years Johnnie Lee St.John.

Graveside Service 10:00 a.m., Friday, June 21, 2019 at Tivoli Cemetery, rural Mankato, with Military Honors.
Mankato Mortuary is assisting with arrangements.
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Published on June 18, 2019
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