From the Cheboygan Daily Tribune:
BLACK MOUNTAIN - On a perfect “black and blue” Saturday afternoon, John rode off to be with his Lord. John passed away on Saturday April 15 2006, while mountain biking with his wife, Tracy, at Black Mountain under a beautiful blue sky. He died doing what he loved, with a person he loved, at a place he loved.
John was born on Sept. 8, 1955 to Russel J. (Jack) and JoAnn Hardin (Schnau) in Wyandotte, Mich. He attended the University of Michigan, working through an accelerated program before graduating in 1980 from the School of Dentistry. John moved to Cheboygan that same year to establish his practice.
John was a wonderful father to Eric, Alison, and Ashley. His manner and characteristics are evident in each of his children. John was a selfless and understanding father. He displayed the calm and self-effacing sense of humor that marks all great parents.
On May 6, 1995 John married Tracy Paul at a ceremony in Ann Arbor. During their years together, John and Tracy developed a love for travel, cross-country skiing and mountain biking. They lived a very active life together, pursuing all these activities with great passion, enjoying each and every day because they were doing these things as a couple. John also developed a recent interest in collecting wines. So much so, that he was in process of completing a wine cellar. That project just served to underscore his talents for working around their home.
John will be remembered as a good friend and colleague to so many. He was a very caring individual. His patients and friends experienced John's warmth and compassion. Always there to listen and always interested in sharing what he learned. John will be forever loved and forever missed.
He is survived by his loving wife, Tracy; and by his parents Jack and JoAnne of Traverse City; brothers Jay (Janine) of Traverse City and Jeff (Michelle) of Allen Park, Mich., along with nephews Ben and Tom Hardin. John was the proud father of three talented and successful children; Eric of New York City, and Alison and Ashley both of Ann Arbor.
John also had a very special relationship with Tracy's family. Tracy's father John Paul of Cheboygan; John and Sue Paul of Traverse City, and their children John, Joe, Kelly and Anne; and Kevin and Gina Paul of Grand Rapids along with their children Michael, David and Kevin.
John was preceded in death by his grandparents, Walter and Louise Schnau, and Green and Hessell Hardin; and his mother-in-law, Doris “Dory” Paul.
Visitation will take place from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Thursday, April 20, 2006 at Christian Funeral Home in Cheboygan. A service in John's memory will be conducted at 11 a.m. on Friday, April 21, 2006 at St. Mary's/St. Charles Catholic Church in Cheboygan. Family will greet friends beginning at 10 a.m. prior to the service.
In lieu of flowers, the family has requested that memorials be directed to Thunder Bay Trail Association in John's memory to assist in the maintenance and grooming of the trails at Black Mountain or to the Mackinac Associates.
John with wife Tracy, holding the Michigan Cup won by the Straits Striders this past season.