John Dawson Leverette, Jr. passed away peacefully on March 7th. He was 90 years old. He lived a rich life, not necessarily in material things, but in the wealth that close family bonds and bountiful life experiences can provide. He was a second generation native Floridian born in Miami in 1925. He was an exemplary member of the “greatest generation”, demonstrating in his character all that was great about that generation. He lived through the Great depression and WW II. He grew up in the small central Florida town of Brighton where his dad worked for Glenn Curtiss, the aviation and south Florida land development pioneer. He left home at 17 to join the Navy in 1942. He served on the USS Bogue, an escort carrier that was one of the most decorated ships in WW II fighting against German U-Boats in the North Atlantic. He was aboard the Bogue, anchored next to the USS Missouri in Tokyo Bay, when the Japanese signed the surrender treaty. He worked hard all his life, always caring more about his family than himself. He was an entrepreneur and businessman. He built a construction business in Miami and Homestead, building homes, apartments, and warehouses. He later built an ornamental plant nursery business in central Florida, starting in Lake Placid, and later moving to Webster. He continued on in business until his late 80s. Like many of his generation, his word was ironclad. Deals were made on a handshake and unquestioned. He was a craftsman and could build anything, fix anything, and make it look easy. He never expected help, but when someone else needed it, he was the first to be there. His friends and business partners were all fiercely loyal to him because they knew he’d do anything for them.
He took great care of his wife, Esther, of 60+ years, who preceded him to Heaven almost six years ago. The greatest generation didn’t do things for themselves, they did things to leave the world a better place for the next generation and he did just that. He left the world a better place for his surviving four children (and in-laws): daughter Linda (Al) Wilson, sons Steve (Lin), Jon Chris (Katherine), and Brian (Kim); eight Grandchildren: Carey, Ryan, Courtney, Alec, Mark, Danny, Zane, and Andrew; and 3 great grandchildren: Braeden, Kassidy, and Barrett.
Fair winds and following seas Dad.
Graveside services will be conducted on Friday, March 11, 2016, 2:00PM at Florida National Cemetery in Bushnell.