John Martin Poggi

April 25, 1945 - August 04, 2015

John Martin Poggi

April 25, 1945 - August 04, 2015


John Poggi passed away peacefully in his sleep on August 4th, 2015 at his home in Bellingham, Washington. John was born April 25, 1945 in Oxnard, California. He is survived by a brother, Richard Daily Poggi, and by close friends, who loved him dearly.

John had a long and satisfying career in Market Research at Allstate Insurance Company, in San Francisco, California. He lived in Redwood City, CA, and spent most of his free time teaching sailing as a volunteer with the Oceanic Society in San Francisco Bay, sailing with friends, and traveling. He was a devoted son, and spent almost every vacation with his mother in Southern California, until she died. After retiring in 2003 John moved to Bellingham, and for many years continued his volunteer work and world explorations from his new home in Washington.

All his life, John loved to sail, and had sailed exciting waters, including San Francisco Bay and the English Channel. He loved to charter a boat with a few friends and sail off to an island for a week, or head out of San Francisco or Vancouver for a stunning daysail. Several of his former sailing students have gone on to become lifelong sailors, and they say their sailing passion began with John. In Bellingham, he had a little bevy of ladies that he would take out for daysails with a big smile, astounding expertise, (and a lot of patience).

One of John’s great joys was to travel when he could, exploring places as diverse as Europe, Mexico, Hawaii, and India. He was an eager traveler, ready to explore new cultures – staying with families from India to Costa Rica, chartering boats in exotic locals, or hanging in beach haunts in Mexico. He also loved his little area of Bellingham, Fairhaven, and his view out over Bellingham Bay – sunsets and dancing waves. He liked sharing a glass of red wine and dinner with friends at Keenan’s, overlooking the bay. He loved jazz and attended the Bellingham Jazz concerts whenever he could. He loved a parties and music, cherished his friends, and selflessly tried to help others whenever he could. John was also a dedicated social and environmental activist, contributing his time and resources generously to many organizations, including progressive Democratic candidates, Power Past Coal, Greenpeace, the NRDC, the Nature Conservancy, and Whatcom Peace and Justice Center. Whatever John had, he tried to share, and he appreciated every kindness shown by others. He was a treasure.

John discovered Buddhism after moving to Bellingham. He was sincerely devoted to Tara, the Goddess of Compassion. He volunteered for years at his sangha, hanging their posters in Fairhaven, and assisting at meditations. His values reflected his faith, as he was one of the most gentle, generous, and gracious people on this planet, loved by everyone who knew him. We will miss him with all our hearts.

Celebration Of Life

  • Date & Time: January 15, 8142 (12:00 AM)
  • Venue: Johns Home
  • Location: 1521 4th St Bellingham, WA 98225 - (Get Directions)

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9 responses to John Martin Poggi

  1. I had the privilege of knowing John through my mother-in-law, Angela, who has been very close friends with John for many years.
    Years ago, when my husband and I were still dating, John and Angela asked us to go on a sailing trip to Catalina Island, off the coast of Los Angeles. On that trip, I learned why Angela always refers to John as “The Helmsman.” He was a patient and careful Captain, sailing us skillfully and jovially to “the island of romance.” Once we were safely docked, however, the other side of the Helmsman came out. The sun was dipping into the ocean, porpoises were playing mere feet from our boat, and John poured the first shot of tequila that would start the party. “Sundowners!” he yelled before tipping it back. He kept the “sundowners” flowing until we were all silly and satisfied from a full day sailing. Later I remember waxing poetic with John about the metaphoric meaning of so many nautical terms that have slipped into every day vernacular. And just today I was reading over some blog posts I wrote years ago and read a comment from John–of course it was so poignant and supportive, so sweet and present. He was one of the most guileless and yet wise people I’ve met. I’m grateful to have spent time with such a beautiful soul.

    I hope you are sailing calm seas, laughing your heart out, and tipping back a sundowner. We love you Helmsman. Thank you for being you.



  2. John will be missed more than words can express. He was loyal, kind hearted and aware of the most important things in life, love, compassion, family and friendship. You were one of a kind amigo, and you will be with us always. I will miss you John Poggi.

  3. Responses on Facebook after posting John’s Obituary:
    Barbara Gilday: A picture is worth a thousand words. You’ve captured some wonderful stories in these photos. Well done, good and faithful servant, John.

    Carla Shelton: On to your next journey John. It was my pleasure to get to know you and I’m sure we’ll meet up again sometime down the line and share a very good bottle of wine, red;) John, you were so kind with the sweetest soul in this world, give me hell in the next;) See you later my friend and may God give your soul some sweet rest.

    Lois Stark: This is a wonderful tribute to your friend. May he rest in peace and may you cherish his memory.

    Indra Mariah Trujillo: We already miss Johns humor, his stories and his patience. How about an Opus 1 for old time sakes?

    Rachel Woods: I’m so sorry for his loss. Hugs and great memories abound.

    Deobrat Mishra: So sad to hear this news, yes I do remember his smiling face…..

    Cyndi C. Morrell: Love to you Angela.

    Craig Clark: I am so sorry for your loss. Blessings my friend.

    Stevie Trujillo: SUNDOWNER!!!! He was the best.

    Becky Cottrell:Friends with John Poggi
    I am so saddened to hear this news. I worked with John at Allstate Research Center for many years. He was such a smart, kind, considerate and gentle man and a great sailor. I’m so sorry for his loss.

    Angela Trujillo Polito: Thank you Becky.. Please share with anyone else who may have known John. And know that he was loved and appreciated here in Bellingham.

    RevMeredith Ann Murray: Sending you and his loved ones my sincere condolences. I remember seeing John at the Mount Baker theater now and then. He always seemed so kind and pleasant.

    Susan Bradbury: Friends with John Poggi
    John was/is a precious man . . .

    Gayla Blalock Conner: Friends with John Poggi
    I also worked with John at Allstate Research Center in the early 70’s. He was a passionate soul with a zest for life. Will love and miss you always!

    Diana Kurth: Sweet John, may you take rebirth in Arya Tara’s Pure Land.

    Barbara Clark Rest in peace my dear friend. I am going to miss you.

    Clayton Medeiros: Well said.

    Marty Galindo-Schmith: I am sorry to hear this, Angela. Sending you warm thoughts and love.

    Becky Smith · Friends with John Poggi
    I was Johns personal trainer over the course of the last year. He is such a generous and kind man. I went through some major life changes and was able to get through some very difficult times, with his contribution towards my Lyme disease treatment.

    Angela Trujillo Polito: John was completely generous with anyone in need. His heart was open. I’m glad to know he helped you. Thank you.

    Corrin Crone Phillips: Wrapping you in love Angela. My heart hurts reading this. His love was, is and always be with you.

    Karen Hays : My dear friend, I am so sorry for your loss. There is a hole in your life that will be hard to fill. Sending you love.

    Candy Benteu: John always seemed to be able to make you smile. He was fun, adventurous and one of the most humble individuals I have ever met. I am glad he adopted us as a family. How rich we are all are to have been able to share his life with him. Thank you Ang for all that you did to give us the gift of knowing and loving John.

  4. I was very saddened by the news of John’s death. I had the privilege of assisting him in moving from his up condo to the lower unit after his medical problems.He was a very sweet and tender gentleman and was delightful to work for. Over the next several months I became very fond of him and was happy to help him in some of his domestic dilemmas.
    I hope now he is sailing one of his greatest adventures and enjoying a glass of wine. Rest in peace John.

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