Cover photo for John Elder Cohoon's Obituary
John Elder Cohoon Profile Photo
1923 John 2020

John Elder Cohoon

October 24, 1923 — April 2, 2020

John Elder Cohoon was born October 24, 1923 in Easthampton, MA to Foster L. Cohoon and Helen B. Elder. His achievements started early when he attended the first National Boy Scout Jamboree in Washington DC in 1937 and succeeded in attaining the milestone of Eagle Scout. He graduated from Franklin High School in 1941 and went on to graduate as valedictorian of the first graduating class of Dean Junior College {now Dean College]. From there John attended the United States Naval Academy. He graduated in June 1946 as a member of the Class of 1947 with a degree in Engineering.
After graduating from the Naval Academy, John joined the fleet and married Chloe' Knight Ryer in 1946. While in the Navy he served as an officer aboard the battleship USS Wyoming and the heavy-cruiser USS Salem participating in her commissioning cruise in 1949. He always said the USS Salem was a beautiful ship. After his tour on Salem he was assigned to the aircraft carrier USS Coral Sea. He left the active Navy in 1951, joining the Naval Reserves. He was called back to active status in 1952 at the time of the Korean War and served in the submarine service on the submarine USS Clamagore out of New London, CT and Key West, FL. He thought of himself as a Navy man and Submariner in particular. During his Navy career John and Chloe lived in Virginia Beach, VA, Norfolk, VA, Charleston, SC, Brookline, MA and Key West, FL. In 1983 John retired from the Navy after 27 years of service.
After his first Navy tour John joined Brooklyn Union Gas Co working in the Distribution section throughout Brooklyn. He was Superintendent in charge of laying of the first natural gas pipeline across the Narrows to Staten Island in the late 1950s, at the time the longest underwater gas line in the world; other significant projects included the pipelines for the expansion of Idlewild Airport and the Liquid Natural Gas Storage Tanks in Greenpoint in the 1960's. He retired as a Vice President in 1983.
John, Chloe and his family moved to Westbury, Long Island in 1954 where they lived for over 20 years before moving to Westfield, NJ in the mid-1970s. John enjoyed his summer vacations as he and his family would head north to Indian Lake NY. They became part of the small White Birches Community enjoying everyone's company and fishing the many Adirondack ponds. Those were some of his most important memories. During his retirement he also took up water-color painting studying with well-known New Jersey Landscape artist Betty Stroppel and built furniture in his wood-working workshop. John and Chloe moved to Lakewood NJ in 2005. John was a resident of Harrogate Retirement Community Lakewood at the time of his death.

John was a member of the Society of Mayflower Descendants, and of the American Legion Post 1392 in Indian Lake, NY.
He is survived by Chloe, his wife of over 73 years, his daughter Dana Cohoon, his son and daughter-in-law John E. Cohoon Jr. and Barbara Cohoon, his grandson Andrew J. Cohoon, and his grandson and granddaughter-in-law Marshall T. Cohoon and Teresa Cohoon. He was predeceased by his brother Foster A. Cohoon. His burial will be at Fairview Cemetery, Westfield. Arrangements by Gray Funeral Directors, Westfield. Please go to: to offer condolences.
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