Celebrating the life of John G. Mott
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Johnny, as he was called by all who watched him grow up in Elizabethtown, IL, was born to the late John Isaac and Dorothy Mott. Johnny was the baby of the family, having Rosella as an older sister. Johnny really enjoyed his childhood. He would play all day, every day, until it was too dark to see. His dad often said he had never saw a child enjoy their childhood as much as Johnny did. Johnny was well known for his love of animals. He brought home many dogs and assorted animals to the dismay of his mother. She tolerated his love of animals until one day he brought home a goat. Living in the city limits meant you could not have a goat. After a good scolding, his mother, Dorothy made him take the goat back to where he got it. This is a story, as an adult, John would tell throughout the years.
Once, his love of dogs made him famous. Johnny had a pet dog named Spot. He trained Spot to jump up on his back, put his hind legs in his back pockets, and front paws over his shoulder. One day ,as Johnny and Spot came through town, a fellow from the local newspaper took his photo with Spot doing their trick. The photo ran in the newspaper. Johnny and Spot were an overnight sensation!
At an early age, it was obvious John was an entrepreneur. His first business, at the age of 12, was selling worms. It worked out very well for him because his older sister Rosie was the one who actually did the worm selling. Rosie and John were quite the pair when they were young, and they continued to enjoy the closest of sibling relationships throughout the years. John went from worms to rabbits, then onto hogs. During his teen years, John started working at a local grocery story as a delivery boy and when he left the job he was the local butcher.
In 1963 Johnny met and fell in love with Brenda Clark. They were later married and to this union were born John Michael and Terry Wayne. Brenda died very young in an accident.
In 1967, John met and married Connie Martin. To this union Brian Keith was born. During these years John worked as construction worker, truck driver, and milk man. He later was the co-owner of D&J Milk Distributing. In 1974, he and Connie bought Huddle café in Carrier Mills and in 1976, Mott’s General Store in Karbers Ridge. In the late 70’s he was the owner/distributor of Blue Bird pies and cakes throughout Southern Illinois. John had a 30 acre farm with cows, pigs, chickens, goats, horses, rabbits and the various animals his boys wanted to raise.
In 1982 John began working as a carpenter. In 1983 John began to branch out on his own with his sons. Eventually in 1986 he formed his own construction company known as Mott Builders. John was a hard worker. He loved his boys and his family. He included his dad, brother- in-law, and children in every part of his life (which usually meant his work). The Mott brother, as young boys, helped in most of John’s various business ventures. He took them on the milk and cake routes. They worked with their dad in the store, checking fences, feeding animals, cutting firewood…whatever their dad was involved in at the time. Eventually all the Mott boys became carpenters like their father and his father before him. Together they built many houses throughout Southern Illinois.
In 1992 his wife Connie passed away. He was lost and thought life had no future. That was until he met and married Sue (Randolph) Thompson. They wed in 1993. In this union John gained a step-son, Rick Thompson, along with his family. John grew to love his new family very much. John and Sue own and manage many rent houses in the Harrisburg area.
Upon John’s retirement, he and Sue became snowbirds. They owned property in Florida and spent several winters there. John and Sue loved taking road trips, visiting new places, and experiencing new adventures. John and Sue were married for 23 years. They were each other’s best friend.
John was exceptionally close to his father and his sister, Rosie. No matter what was going on he often allotted time for them. In his later years, where John was, so was Rosie.
John was very active in his church. He taught Sunday school and was an unofficial elder of the church. People loved and respected John for his faith and dedication to the Lord. At the age of 16 John and a group of people who had been attending a tent revival in Elizabethtown gathered and eventually formed the First General Baptist Church there. At the age of 36 John rededicated his life to the Lord. He and his family began attending Vision Baptist Church. During their time at Vision Baptist all three of his sons accepted the Lord as their savior. This was an incredibly proud moment for him.
All of his life and throughout his various adventures, John remained a humble person and a family man. He was well known for treating everyone with respect and dignity. The respect and admiration was mutual with the people who knew him. In his later years, he cared deeply about serving the Lord and sharing the Gospel.
John was preceded in death by Brenda, Connie, his parents, and a brother, James Larry, who died at birth. John is survived by his wife Sue, his sister, Rosella, and his sons Mike, Terry, Brian. He is also survived by a step-son Rick Thompson and his grandchildren, Terry Jon Mott, Jerrod Mott, Derek Mott, Sydney Mott, Cassandra Mott, Presley Mott, Rachel and Raegan Thompson. John has 6 great-grandchildren. He died peacefully surrounded by his loving family.
His life and faith have touched many throughout the years. According to his boys, the most common thing said by people who knew him is, “that John Mott is a good, good man.”
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211 North Jackson St.
Harrisburg, IL 62946
211 North Jackson St.
Harrisburg, IL 62946