John F. Converse, 93, Watertown

WATERTOWN, NY —  John F. Converse, 93, of LaFave Road, Watertown, NY, passed away peacefully Sunday, Aug. 1, 2021, at his home.

John was born on March 2, 1928, in Winthrop, NY, the son of Harry Orban Converse and Anna O’Leary Converse.

John served in the United States Navy as a Seaman First Class during World War II, assigned to the USS TARAWA (CV 40), an aircraft carrier supporting the war efforts as part of the Pacific fleet. He later met and married Jeanne Marie Ouellette on September 2,1950 at Holy Family Church in Watertown with Reverend McCarthy presiding. They had been married for nearly 65 years when Jeanne passed away in April of 2015.

In 1950, John and his beloved wife Jeanne purchased a farm along outer Pearl Street Road just north of the city of Watertown. They later expanded the farm to include land along LaFave Road. While working to grow the farm, John also worked at the St. Regis Paper Mill for 17 years.

The Converse Farm would become the cornerstone of the Converse family legacy, including eight children who lived and worked on the farm with their parents. During that time, John enjoyed exhibiting the fruits of his labor from the farm at the Jefferson County Fair.

In the many years since they raised their family there, John and Jeanne’s children each built their own homes along the farmlands where they once raised registered holsteins. Over time another generation of Converse kids was born and raised, many of whom now also own homes and raise children on the old family farm.

As patriarch of the Converse family, John will be forever missed by the family he leaves behind including seven children – a daughter, Anne Converse, as well as six sons and their spouses; Michael and Linda, David and Kathleen, Thomas and Sandra, Stephen and Geana, Joseph and Vicki, and Donald and Robin, all of Watertown. John’s legacy further totals 24 grandchildren, 38 great-grandchildren and one great-great-grandchild.

John and Jeanne’s daughter, Diane Marie, died in a car/bicycle accident at the age of 13. John was also predeceased by two grandsons, Christopher David and Ryan Joseph.

John’s siblings, his sister Mary Converse Phelix, and his brothers Paul J. Converse and Robert H. Converse, passed before him. He was also predeceased by his brother in-law Robert Ouellette.

John was a longtime communicant of Our Lady of the Sacred Heart Church in Watertown. A great lover of sailing, he was a member of Navy Point Marine in Sackets Harbor. John was also a member of The Holstein-Friesian Association of America, and a leader of the local 4-H Club. In his later years it is his love for watching old western movies that his family will chuckle about most fondly.

The family will be receiving family and friends at the Reed & Benoit Funeral Home for calling hours on Wednesday, August 4th, between the hours of 4:00 pm and 7:00 pm. A funeral Mass will be said 10:00 a.m. Thursday, Aug. 5, at Our Lady of the Sacred Heart Church. Burial will follow in Calvary Cemetery.

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