CHARLEVOIX — John Robert Alberts, 84, died Jan. 4, 2014. One of his goals was to make it to the new year and he succeeded in that. He loved life, appreciating and treasuring every moment and felt fortunate to have each day that he was given. He never complained, even after his long illness confined him to his wheelchair and eventually to the house. Every morning he looked out of the window and commented on the beauty that he saw outside.
For most of his life he had a great deal of energy which allowed him to enjoy many interests and activities. He loved music, especially jazz and classical. Other favorites were writing poetry, photography, art museums, art associations and galleries, sailing, hiking and backpacking, sports car driving and races, horseback riding, skiing, antiques and travel. In every country and city that we visited he found interesting and friendly people, history, culture and beauty.
John was an animal lover, especially dogs and cats. He worked for animal rights and conservation. He did not eat meat from factory farms for many years because of the inhumane conditions under which the animals were raised. He also worked for human rights. He had strong convictions and principles and stood behind them squarely.
After graduating from Arthur Hill High School in Saginaw, John worked for Morley Brothers and for Northern Industrial Supplies in Saginaw. He then joined the Army, serving during the Korean Conflict. When he was discharged from the Army, he enrolled at Michigan State University where he starred in a Main Stage Production as well as many other events.
On Aug. 9, 1958 he married Raechel Goetz and they remained together for 55 years until his death. After they taught in Michigan they decided to move to California where they lived for 30 years, continuing to teach. John served as a drama teacher in Pomona, Calif. and with great student help, he created an invitational celebration of theater that hosted the finest student talent in southern California. Later he became a member, then chairman of the Pomona Cultural Arts Commission. At that time the Fox Theater, which had hosted the Hollywood previews of new films, was preserved as a landmark. While in California, John and his wife also ran an antiques business and managed several of their rental units.