John was born in Charleston, WV on August 11, 1936 son of Edna Jane Lindley Repaire and Richard Gerald Repaire. A year or so later, Mary was born followed a little later by sister, Lynda. His brother, Richard, was born several years later. Two years after Richard's birth, baby sister, Anne, completed the family. Growing up in this great family was lively at times. John had the reputation of loving to tease and play pranks. Sister Lynda has some great stories. His mother once commented that John was a great help to her, offering to do any needed chores without being asked after he came home from school each day. He even helped out with the ironing!
John attended Love Block Elementary School at lower Montgomery, WV his first four years. He completed his elementary schooling in Montgomery Elementary. Both schools were in Montgomery but Love Block was in Kanawha County and Montgomery Elementary was in Fayette County. His home was very close to the dividing county line.
Following elementary school, he attended Montgomery Jr. High. During these years, John had a paper route. He was usually accompanied by his faithful dog, Laddie, as he delivered his papers. In later years, he said being so cold while delivering newspapers in the snow gave him the goal to eventually move where the climate was warmer-and no snow!! During these years he became a Boy Scout. Eventually he proudly attained the rank of Eagle Scout.
While attending Montgomery Jr. High, he met his future wife, Nancy Arnold when they were acting in an operetta together. In one of the scenes, Nancy was to teach this Indian how to dance. As you could guess, John was the Indian. This was the first time they really got to know each other. After that first encounter they developed an easy friendship that occasionally encouraged John to play a little prank here and there. One little prank was cutting off a piece of Nancy's hair while she was getting books from under her desk/seat. Teasing became part of their relationship which continued through high school. Since John was so tall (6' 3") and Nancy so short (5' 3") he found it much fun to mess up her hair while passing in the hall to classes. Learning to duck soon enough became the goal for Nancy plus a severe tongue lashing directed at John.
John attended Montgomery High School from 1950 to 1954. During those years, he was an excellent student and very goal oriented. He also maintained a job after school and on Saturdays at a local hardware store. One of his talents was fixing toasters! During those high school years he was on the student council, a member of the National Honor Society, Latin Club, Thespians Society, and History Club. He was also President of So. Eastern Co-Government Association, and he attended Mountaineer Boys' State three years and Peterkin Church Camp which further strengthened his leadership skills. One of his favorite plays in which he was a cast member consisted of all boys (they were on a dying submarine). Their play won regionally and they then competed for State recognition. He and Nancy also had the opportunity to act in a couple of plays together.
During his senior year John decided to ask Nancy to teach him to dance. His goal was to learn the "jitterbug". So they went to a "sock hop" together and the lessons began. One thing led to another and they started dating and attended the senior prom together. John had told Nancy of his plans to become a doctor and would be leaving Montgomery in the fall to attend WV University in Morgantown, WV. Although Nancy was going to attend a local college, they agreed that they would date when he had an opportunity to come home during vacation time-but would not "go steady."
John graduated from Montgomery High School in the spring of 1954 and began his studies at WV University that fall. After the first year he asked Nancy to "go steady" and to wait for him to complete perhaps eight years of study. They continued their dating from 1954 to 1958. Most of the time they could see each other only once a month as the university was a three hour drive from Montgomery and he didn't have a car. Fortunately, he often found a fellow student "going that way" and would hitch a ride home to Montgomery.
John completed his undergraduate work in three years instead of the usual four and began his first year at WV Medical School in Morgantown, WV. Nancy received her bachelor's degree in Business Education and began to make plans to teach. They both decided eight years was too long to wait to marry. With their parents' blessing, they married in August 23, 1958. John completed his second year of medical school and Nancy taught school in Masontown, WV-a few miles from Morgantown.
In the fall of 1959, John and Nancy moved to Richmond, Virginia where he attended the Medical College of Virginia. He graduated from medical school in May of 1961. Nancy had taught school during these two years in Highland Springs, Virginia, which was near Richmond. During this time she became pregnant with their first child.
John interned at Charleston Memorial Hospital, Charleston, WV in the fall of 1961. Their first child, a beautiful little girl, Suzanne, was born October 10, 1961. Although Dr. John was on duty that night helping with the delivery of another child, he managed to get to Nancy's delivery room in time to assist at the last minute. They were delighted to have this darling little girl with her happy smile.
In the spring of 1962 John & Nancy moved to Flint, Michigan where he completed his residency in General Practice at Hurley Hospital. John really enjoyed his residency. Nancy enjoyed meeting all the other wives and their children and shortly found she was pregnant again. Their beautiful son, Rex, was born on March 16, 1963 at Hurley Hospital with Dad's assistance. John was very happy to have a boy-the family now had a boy and a girl!
Following residency John and Nancy moved to San Diego, CA in the summer of 1963. He worked with two other physicians in an office on Rosecrans. He really loved San Diego's climate-no snow!! He also enjoyed his practice. Nancy was busy being "mom" and also loved San Diego and its beautiful climate. In 1964 Nancy discovered she was pregnant again and on February 19, 1965, another beautiful son, Marc Richard was born. Because of the expanding family, it was decided buying a house was necessary. So in March they purchased the home at 2997 Marquette St.
In the spring of 1966 Uncle Sam requested John's services. He served as a Captain in the United States Air Force. From 1966 to 1967 he was stationed in Amarillo, TX. In the spring of 1967 he was transferred to Taichung, Taiwan where he headed up a base hospital for returning wounded soldiers.
After returning home in 1968, John accepted a position with a group of doctors on First Avenue, San Diego, CA-Drs. Bartel, Thein, and Markarian. He enjoyed his practice and Nancy settled into raising the children, assisting at school as a tutor, and transporting to functions, sports, etc. During this period John became one of the first charter members of the Academy of Family Practice. He maintained his certification throughout the years until retirement. Around 1977 John decided to have his own office. A new office building had been built next to Doctor's Hospital (as it was known at the time). He furnished his office making it very child friendly-padding a little table and play area so there were no corners they could fall against to hurt themselves. He also furnished it with children's books and a beautiful aquarium to fascinate and entertain. During this time he began to offer home births; however, he also delivered in the hospitals. He was one of a few doctors who offered a home birth experience.
These were busy years. But even so, John found the time to plan vacations that would give the children great memories. Some of the trips taken were to Yellowstone Park (great fishing trip to catch salmon), driving cross country to see grandparents stopping along the way to see the Grand Canyon, and on one leg of the journey stopping at Mount Rushmore. Camping in tents and hiking in Yosemite was also great fun. A trip to Colonial Williamsburg where they stepped back in history was both educational and enjoyable. Also a trip to Hawaii was highlighted by John's parents joining the family to share a condo. Once the children were teenagers the family took their first cruise to the Caribbean. These were great family times-memories to last a lifetime.
Around 1977 his present receptionist needed to take a leave of absence. He asked Nancy to fill in during this time. After six months he asked her to accept a permanent position. So Nancy substituted for 6 months and stayed for seven years. During that time a new relationship began not only as husband and wife but as boss and receptionist/office manager. It was a team effort now. From this period until 1981, "Doc Fix," as he was known by his patients, delivered close to 2000 babies. He retired from delivering children in 1981. His patients threw him an amazing celebration party. There were about a hundred adults and children (most of the children he had delivered) who attended this lovely picnic party.
In 1984 John accepted a position working for Coal Valley Medical Clinic in Smithers, WV-- a small town bordering Montgomery, WV. His father's health had not been good, so he welcomed an opportunity to return to WV and spend more time with family. It was during this time that he became a 32 degree mason and a member of the Shriners. He also worked in the emergency room and trauma center in Beckley, WV. Because of his love of Boy Scouts, he found time to become a Scout leader and enjoyed "outings" with his boys in the beautiful WV mountains.
After returning to San Diego in 1991 he worked as a civilian doctor for the Navy until his retirement in 2007. The clinic gave him a beautiful retirement party at the Bali Hai in San Diego. He had such wonderful memories of his relationship with his colleagues at NTC. It was with very mixed feelings that he said goodbye. But it was time to move to another stage of life.
Retirement brought more time together for John and Nancy. It was a time of "puttering" with flowers, taking strolls, senior exercise class, water exercises at the Y and just "kick back time" as well as enjoying much wonderful time with the children and grandchildren. As he often said, "we are so lucky to have the kids close." There were also cruises that were enjoyed to Mexico, the Caribbean, and Alaska.
In May of 2012 he received the diagnosis of metastatic melanoma, stage four. His training told him that his remaining time with his loved ones would be short. He spent time trying to prepare his family for his passing. He was a courageous, non complaining person to the end. He passed away surrounded with his loving family on November 28, 2012.
He was such a very loving, patient, and kind man and husband. He was much loved by all who knew him and will be sorely missed.
He is survived by his wife of 54 years, Nancy, his daughter Suzanne Harris Robinson and her husband Jim, her children Nicole Harris and Steve Harris of Chula Vista, CA, a son Rex Brian Repaire and his wife, Carolyn and their children, Rex and Kirra of Carlsbad, CA, and a son Marc Richard Repaire and his daughters, Rene and Karina of San Juan Capistrano, CA