John A. McVeety, 72, of Alpena passed away suddenly Nov. 2, 2017. Born on Feb. 24, 1945, in Eldora, Iowa, the middle child and eldest son of Eldon and Nina (Pritchard) McVeety. Beloved husband and loving soul mate of 32 years to Katharine Mae Kuchinski. Loving father to Benjamin (Suanne Hawkins) McVeety, Meredith (Nick) Vogel, Janel (Chris) Branson, and Sarah Morris. Proud Grandpa to Jack, Jayne, Gage, Melah, Maximus, Britney and Sydney. Brother to Mavis McVeety and James (Deborah Green) McVeety.

John was the CEO of Alpena Regional Medical facility for nearly three decades. A 40-year resident of Alpena, he was passionate about serving the community and dedicated his career to providing the highest quality health care and medical staff to the town which he so dearly loved.

In 1978, Alpena General Hospital was looking for a new leader who was willing to face the challenges of new management, improve labor relations, and oversee a major hospital expansion. What they found was a person who would lead the hospital for the next 29 years and grow the organization into one of the premier healthcare facilities in northern Michigan. While CEO, John oversaw construction projects that tripled the size of the hospital and brought numerous new services to the region.

During his tenure at ARMC, John was active on the local, state and national scene. Serving on the Alpena Chamber of Commerce Board, the Michigan Hospital Association board (named Chairman in 1996) and the Blue Cross — Blue Shield of Michigan board, he changed healthcare policies and practices across the state. In 2001, John was named “Citizen of the Year” by the Alpena Chamber of Commerce.

As passionate as John was about serving his community, it paled in comparison for his love of his wife, children, friends and the rolling seas of the Great Lakes. John earned a legendary reputation as a fierce competitor in the Port Huron/Chicago to Mackinac Regattas. He fostered his love of sailing by mentoring numerous young people in the Alpena area and abroad. John was a force in everything that he did and had a drive unparalleled to overcome the obstacles that life threw at him. “No” was never a word that John subscribed to, neither age nor tragedy wavered his warrior spirit.

Above all else he was a kind and gentle man who loved life. His honesty, ethics and ability to see the good in people were pillars he lived by. He will be sadly missed by his family, friends. Keep on sailing right into heaven Johnny. We love you so much.

The family will gather at the APlex on Sunday, Nov. 12, from 5 p.m. until the memorial service at 7 p.m. Cremation arrangements have been handled by the Bannan Funeral Home.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Alpena Youth Sailing, 102 S. Third Avenue, Alpena, Michigan 49707.