John Robert Sloan

April 5, 1943 - April 28, 2021

Service Date: May 11, 2021

A celebration of John's remarkable life will be held on Tuesday, May 11th from 1:00p.m. - 2:00p.m. followed by a period of visitation from 2:30pm - 4:30pm.

John Sloan, 78, of Sanford, passed away peacefully on April 28, 2021 in Kennebunk with his family by his side.

Weighing in at a scrappy three pounds on April 5, 1943, John Sloan came into this world a fighter. As legend goes, a dresser drawer served as his bed until his parents, Honora and Harry Sloan, were sure he would survive. And survive he did. He in fact thrived in the South Boston public housing that served as the backdrop to his formative years moving from Boston English High School to Northeastern University where he studied to become a pharmacist. Along the way, he lost both of his parents and learned to navigate life on his own. In 1965, the same year he married his wife of 55 years Frances Sloan, also of South Boston, MA, he graduated college and started a family, welcoming five children over 16 years. His children say he was the kind of guy that if he was out on his boat and a seagull flew overhead and pooped in his lunch, he just stirred that S#$% up and carried on. No, really, he was that kind of guy. That is a true story.

John loved the ocean, having learned to scuba dive in college, and he moved his brood early on to Cape Cod. According to his children, there was not a wave too big if you were on his shoulders. You just got tossed to shore, tumbling in the surf knowing you would be okay. Then you went back again, back on the shoulders that were always willing and able to take on any burden that came along.

John loved his kids. So much so, that when his wife banned sugar from the home in the mid-70s, John piled the kids in the car, pulled out a cheesecake and passed it around as he drove them to a local pond to clean up the evidence.

However, times were not always easy which made used cars one of John’s specialties. In fact, he had a certain talent for picking out the good ones. For example, there was the Toyota Corolla affectionately known as “The Green Hornet” with a rusted-out bottom–who does not want to look at the road as you pass over it—and the hearse he brought home then convinced his kids it was really a limousine.

Yard work was another talent. All he needed was a rake, dry timber, and a little gasoline. Skin grafts to repair the damage done from self-immolation were never a concern although doctors at Mass General Hospital might disagree. Nor was trimming a beehive with a weed whacker right before a party much of an issue. The guests simply thought he was doing an interpretive dance to welcome them.

As the father of four daughters, John knew the importance of helping his daughters recognize early-on the signs of sexual harassment. As part of his training course, John spent countless nights with them, a nice cup of tea, and endless episodes of Benny Hill. Eventually giving up the warmth of Cape Cod oceans for the frigid coast of Maine, John and his wife moved to Waldo and eventually settled in Sanford after he secured work with Hannaford. HIs family continued to grow as his children welcomed children–10 in all with one on the way at the time of his passing.

But John was not just a master of the absurd and family man, he was also an incredibly talented painter, having produced hundreds of paintings over his lifetime, and a musician with a beautiful, bass voice and a penchant for the Irish ballad. He was a violinist in his youth and earned a college scholarship for his talent. He was also the type of man who made friends easily and kept them for a lifetime, and a husband who really did love and cherish, for the rest of his life, his wife Frances.

In 2018 John retired from pharmacy after 52 years. This was the same year his prostate cancer returned after 15 years at bay. John never wanted to burden anyone, so he chose to fight the disease in the most courageous and private manner imaginable; that scrappy fighter from South Boston was back. The truth, though, is that there isn’t a person in John’s life who wouldn’t have volunteered to be his corner man as John was loved beyond measure. Simply put, he was a good man–a kind, loyal, generous good man.

Getting on with it, John is survived by way too many and too few willing to be publicly acknowledged. Nonetheless, prepare for the fine print: Wife, Frances Sloan of Sanford, ME; Sister-in-law Kathleen Vierbickas and her husband Gerard of South Boston, MA; Children: Jennifer Sloan and her partner Julian Richards of Philadelphia, PA; Noreen Sloan and Gary Keane of Pawtucket, RI; Andrea Sloan and her husband Vincent Scorziello of Providence, RI; Charlene Sloan Colgan and Paul Colgan of Cambridge, MA; Brendan Sloan and his wife Alicia of Concord, NH. Grandchildren: Sasha Yatchenko Sloan of Nashville,TN; Ryan Phipps and Hannah Phipps of Newbury, MA; Harrison Phipps and Jack Colgan of Cambridge, MA; Ciaran and Declan McDonough and Luca Scroziello of Providence, MA; Oliver and Nicolai Sloan of Concord, MA; niece Lee Anna Robbins and her husband Nathan of Dorchester, MA and nephew Stephen Sloan and his wife Paulette of Attleboro, MA, and many more nieces, nephews and old friends.

A Celebration of Life will be held on Tuesday, May 11th from 1p.m. to 2 p.m. at Autumn Green Funeral Home, 47 Oak St., Alfred, followed by a period of visitation from 2:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests a donation be made to the Boys and Girls Club of South Boston, MA.

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The Autumn Green Funeral Home is respectfully handling Mr. Sloan’s arrangements.

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