John Christian Pfister
April 23, 1944 - April 4, 2021

John Pfister passed away on April 4th,2021.  John loved his family, and he is survived by his wife, Linda, daughter Kimberly (Todd), son Lane (Laurie), and six grandchildren. He was a remarkable storyteller, a brilliant intellectual, and an accomplished professional in the many facets of his work. The first half of his career was in Michigan as a teacher, principal, and superintendent of schools. During this portion of his career, he was awarded an NAACP award and was recognized for his hard-earned efforts in desegregating schools. In Florida, he transitioned to a new career and thoroughly enjoyed being a real estate appraiser. In both segments of his careers, he was known and well-respected for his fairness and honesty.  John cherished adventure and traveling.  He loved animals, especially black bears, and a highlight for him was attending bear school where he interacted with wild bears and learned how to safely live among them in the mountains.  John will be missed by the countless individuals whose lives he has impacted as a teacher, husband, father, grandfather, and friend. Donations in John’s memory can be made to North American Bear Center, P.O. Box 161, Ely MN 55731, ( or a charity of your choice.  A private family celebration of life will take place in the North Georgia Mountains.


  • Sandy and John Karsk Posted April 16, 2021 4:59 pm

    We will remember John for his many fascinating, entertaining , and thought provoking bear stories. It was so obvious how much he cared about and enjoyed them. He and his wife, Linda selflessly brought our mountain friends together to form a protective neighborhood group. He lived his life to the fullest!

  • STAN HOPPER Posted April 17, 2021 11:36 am

    I was introduced to John and Linda by their good friend and next door neighbor, Frank Flack. We have been friends for close to 40 years and I have a lot of respect for John. He was a crazy guy. Wrestling bears! Thank you Linda for caring for him and I know he adored you. He will surely be missed. Gods Blessing!

  • Mick and Pam Posted April 18, 2021 10:46 am

    We miss you friend; your stories, your humor, and our many long conversations on so many topics. You were a presence in our lives that can never be replaced.

  • Gary & Gabriela Fancher Posted April 18, 2021 7:21 pm

    There are not enough words to express the sorrow that invades us for the loss of our great friend John.

    A friend who was always unconditional and who was always concerned about us and our well-being.

    A friend who with his knowledge always delighted us, one of the reason for which we had a deep admiration for him.

    We have not yet been able to assimilate the reality of his departure, but we know that he has simply gotten ahead of us on the road and that one day we will meet again in eternity with our good friend John.

    John will be forever in our hearts and thoughts.

  • Jerry Stoutamire Posted April 18, 2021 9:19 pm

    I’m contemplating what to write as I sit here at home. The first thing that occurs to me is how much I looked forward to visiting John, Linda and lab Abigail. Never a dull moment in that household. John always had an interesting family anecdote to impart. Under that Paul Bunyun exterior was a kind and generous heart. One that I was truly a personal beneficiary of. Thank you buddy for being my good friend. A part of me dies with you. Goodbye for now.

  • Alice and Butch Posted April 19, 2021 1:12 pm

    You have been great neighbors. I will remember John’s enduring passion for the local black bear community. Sorry to hear that Abby passed.

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