John Walter Hyatt, retired entrepreneur of Fort Myers Beach, and formerly of Gilford, NH, passed away Tuesday, Feb. 28, at Hope Hospice on Healthpark Circle, Fort Myers, due to Stage 4 lung cancer. He was 69 years old.
His death was rather sudden, as he was diagnosed with cancer only four weeks earlier. He will be remembered and loved by family, friends, and all those whose lives he touched.
John was born in Malden, Mass., May 27, 1942, the son of late Ernest L. Hyatt and Laura G. (D'Avilla) Hyatt. He was a fraternal twin and one of 13 children, and is survived by siblings Patricia Diluca, Paul Hyatt, Ruth Lambert, and Margaret Babb, all of New Hampshire, Kathleen June, of Massachusetts, and Carol Ferguson, of Florida; his three children, John D. Hyatt, of Fort Myers Beach Florida, Linda L. Hyatt Young, of Virginia, and Donnajeanne Hyatt Scarlett, of San Francisco; his former wife, Diane R. Avallone, of New Hampshire; three grandchildren; and many nieces and nephews.
John Hyatt, Sr. loved to fish. Photo courtesy JOHN HYATT, Jr.
During his six years of active duty, John traveled to various countries around the world, and served on both the U.S.S. Eisenhower and U.S.S. Lake Champlain, and also defended his country during the Cuban Missile Crisis with his involvement at the Bay of Pigs.
Per John's wishes, there will be no funeral services. A memorial service for local family and friends will be held, however, Wednesday, March 7, at the Beach Pub, 1668 I St., Fort Myers Beach, from 5 to 8 p.m. The family wishes that, in lieu of flowers, donations be made to the American Lung Association, American Cancer Society, or Fort Myers Hope Hospice.
Although recently retired in 2008, John dedicated most of his professional career to various entrepreneurial ventures. An extremely and motivated individual, he began his first business at the age of 16. He held various professions throughout his life, mostly working for himself. In the late 1960s, he began his own sprinkler company, eventually accepting a business partner to become Hyatt and Larkin Sprinkler Company in Malden, Mass. In the mid-1970s, he moved to the Lakes Region in New Hampshire, where he and his wife purchased and ran a country general store, Larry's Market, where he was known and loved by many locals.
More recently, he was a car dealership owner and real estate investor in the Lakes Region. In recent years, he also founded Hyatt Nova Scotia Spring Water Company, having discovered a natural spring source on a small segment of the 760 acres he owned in Digby, Nova Scotia.
At the time of his death, he was in the process of researching the feasibility of bottling water at the source. His hope was to provide people around the world with pure spring water naturally filtered through 100- to 300-million-year-old volcanic rock. His goal was also to conserve this precious water source by substantially limiting the amount of water drawn from the source. He also desired to maintain the natural beauty and integrity of the land, which he purchased in the 1960s.
John had a passion for designing and building things. In 1971, he patented his invention of an automatic pipe-handling system, which cut elongated pieces of material, such as tube, pipe and bar stock, into pieces of pre-determined length. Each end then simultaneously clamped, threaded and reamed automatically, which was considered revolutionary at the time.
He instilled his love of nature into his children, choosing to leave the Boston, Mass., area to raise them near the lakes and mountains of New Hampshire. He later purchased several acres of land and a cabin in northern New Hampshire for his family and friends to enjoy, planting an orchard there, as well.
As an artistic individual, he used to sketch. Later in life, he took up painting. His love for the saxophone led him to take lessons, so he could learn how to play it himself. Additionally, his son still reminisces about the time that John came to one of his concerts with a harmonica and surprised everyone with an impressive harmonica solo.
A man of many interests and talents, John was also an avid angler. He spent much time fishing with his father and son on Lake Wentworth, and later on Lake Winnipesaukee.
After retiring and moving to Fort Myers to be geographically nearer to his son, the two fished regularly together in the Back Bay, where they began the tradition of a late night "fish fry" in order to enjoy the ones they were able to keep and bring home from an evening of fishing.
Written by Donna Jeanne Scarlett, and courtesy of John Hyatt, Jr.