John was born in the Czechoslovakia in 1927, moved to Montreal at a very young age and then to Whitby in 1934, where he received his public and high school educations.
His sports career included playing right wing for the Red Wing team during its Championship year (1945-46) and also playing baseball for the Whitby Junior Team. After completing high school, John enlisted in the Canadian Merchant Navy and survived the sinking of his ship during the Second World War. He returned to live in Whitby at the conclusion of his naval duty.
His career in the auto industry began at his father’s tool and die business making auto parts. He eventually worked as a car salesman, leading to his ownership of a Pontiac Buick dealership in Port Perry which he sold in 1973. John concluded his time in the auto industry working as a troubleshooter for Ford Canada.
John was honoured by the Government of Canada with the following medals: the 1939-1945 Star, the Pacific Star, the Atlantic Star and the Canadian Volunteer Service Medal for his contributions to the war effort in the Merchant Navy.