John McGlohon

Obituary of John Anderson McGlohon

John A. McGlohon passed away peacefully at Randolph Hospice House in Asheboro on Feb. 2, 2020 at the age of 96. He lived a long and remarkable life. John was born in Northern Guilford County in 1923 to the late Don and Blanche McGlohon. At 6 months of age, his family moved back to Asheboro where his mother and grandmother had grown up as part of the Moring family. He lived just a short way from the firehouse and grew up watching the firemen, all volunteers, go to fight fires. He knew as a child he wanted to be a fireman. He graduated from the Old Fayetteville St. School which at the time only went through the 11th grade. He worked at Roses Dime store after graduation. He entered the Army Air Corp in June of 1941. He was stationed at Maxwell Field in Montgomery AL. when Japan attacked Pearl Harbor. He was assigned to the 3rd Photo Reconnaissance Squadron as an aerial photographer. He and his crews were assigned to photo mapping missions in South America, Alaska and the China, Burma, India theatre to map the "Hump". After returning to the states, he was posted at Smokey Hill AFB in Salina KS. and began training to crew a brand new aircraft, the B-29. After training, he was again sent to China, Burma, India, and eventually ended on Guam as part of the 1st Photo Group. On August 6, 1945, he and his crew were on a separate mission when they flew over Hiroshima Japan just after the Enola Gay had released the world's first atomic bomb. They circled and took photographs of the bomb cloud as it came up behind them. Some of those photos were later used in an article in Life Magazine. Before John's death, he was the last living person on earth who was over Hiroshima that fateful day. He was discharged from the Army Air Corp soon after and returned to Asheboro. On returning home, John went to work for the US Postal Service and with his soon to be brother-in-law David Gelbach, opened the John David photography studio in downtown Asheboro. David's younger sister, Jane, was undergoing nursing training and John and she began dating and 2 years later were married. A marriage that lasted 62 years until Jane's death in 2010. He later sold his half of the business to David and went to work at the Economy Auto Store repairing TVs. He became a volunteer fireman and was asked by then Fire Chief Clarence Rush to join the department as a paid firefighter on April 1, 1955. He rose through the ranks and on December 20, 1961, John was sworn in as the next Fire Chief for the City of Asheboro, a position he was to keep for 24 years. Under his tenure as Chief, the department had the addition of 2 new fire stations, new trucks, equipment and firefighters who were well qualified to fight fires using new technology and equipment. Some of the city's largest fires occurred while John was chief, including the old Belk's Store fire downtown, which led to the purchase later of the snorkel fire truck to fight hi-rise fires. He retired as chief in December of 1985. But he was not through with service to the city. In 1989, he ran for a spot on the City Council and was elected. He served for 16 years on the council until retiring in December 2006. Nearly 60 years in service to the city one way or another! John was preceded in death by his parents, Don and Blanche Anderson McGlohon, his brother Robert McGlohon, and his wife Jane Gelbach McGlohon, the love of his life. He leaves behind two sons, Robert A. "Bob" McGlohon and wife Ann Cox McGlohon, and John Steven, "Steve" McGlohon, granddaughter Katherine and husband Ben Smith, grandson Robbie McGlohon, and 6 great grandchildren. The family will receive friends on Friday, February 7, 2020 from 6:00-8:00 pm at Pugh Funeral Home, 437 Sunset Avenue in Asheboro. Funeral services will be held on Saturday, February 8, 2020 at 11:00 am at First United Methodist Church with Rev. Lynda Ferguson, Rev. Gary Mason, Rev. Edward Ramsey, and Chaplain Derrick Britt officiating. Burial will follow in Oaklawn Cemetery with military honors by the Randolph County Honor Guard. In lieu of sending flowers, memorials may be made to First United Methodist Church, 224 N. Fayetteville St. Asheboro NC, and Hospice of Randolph County, 416 Vision Dr, Asheboro NC.
Friday
7
February

Visitation at Funeral Home

6:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Friday, February 7, 2020
Pugh Funeral Home
437 Sunset Avenue
Asheboro, North Carolina, United States
Saturday
8
February

Funeral Service

11:00 am
Saturday, February 8, 2020
First United Methodist Church
224 North Fayetteville Street
Asheboro, North Carolina, United States
Saturday
8
February

Final Resting Place

1:00 pm
Saturday, February 8, 2020
Oaklawn Cemetery
737 Albemarle Road
Asheboro, North Carolina, United States
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