John was born in 1947 to a very large, loving, and caring family. They lived on a sheep farm in a small rural community outside of Toowoomba.
He was the first child of parents Rupert and Sylvia and was very proud to be the older brother of David when he came along a few years later.
When the time came, the family moved to a little cottage in Leyburn, so that John and David could attend the local school. His aunt Kathryn said: “John really enjoyed his time at school. All the children accepted him and made sure he was always a part of the playground games and the boy’s mischief”.
On weekends, the family would return home to the farm where John could enjoy his passion for the outdoors. From a very young age John loved to roam the property, go swimming in the dam, play tennis, and he enjoyed fun-filled holidays with his extended family.
John first came to Endeavour Foundation just two days before his 21st birthday. He began working at a Business Service in the Toowoomba region two days a week. Soon after, John became one of the first boarders at an Endeavour Foundation residential property that was then called ‘Martin House’.
John also attended Endeavour Foundation’s Day Service, and later a Learning & Lifestyle Centre. During this time, he remained living in Endeavour Foundation Accommodation.
“As a family, we would like to acknowledge and thank the wonderful Endeavour Foundation staff who, over the years, have given Johnny the loving care, support, and friendship he needed,” Kathryn said.
Sharelle, Endeavour Foundation Support and Operations Manager, had the privilege of supporting John from 1974 – 2012. Sharelle said she first met John when she started working as a support worker at Endeavour Foundation Industries. John was working in the recycled paper area and at the time was living at Martin House.
“John was very fond of sports and was a keen tennis player. He was very good at serving from the baseline, sometimes he would serve so well that he would hit the ball right out of the court. John would then smile, and he had the most wonderful smile, and say ‘good shot that Johnny’,” said Sharelle.
John’s supportive family always remained a very important part of his life. Even though John has now passed away, his family feels so strongly about the work of Endeavour Foundation that they have donated a $20,000 multipurpose court at Stenner Street Residential where John once lived.
“I think that John would have approved, as the court is in a place which would have been very familiar to him, central to all the places John knew: Martin House, Hoepper House, Endeavour Foundation Industries, and Kearney Springs Learning & Lifestyle,” said Sharelle.
John’s family have ensured that his legacy will live on in the area he loved, encouraging other people with a disability to get outside and enjoy the outdoors just as he did.
Endeavour Foundation would like to sincerely thank John’s extended family for their kind and generous donation in his name.
Like John’s family, you can also leave a lasting legacy through a gift to Endeavour Foundation. Any size gift you are able to leave will still make a positive difference to the lives of people with a disability.