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. John was buried on August 14 in a simple Buddhist burial in The Meadow at Greenacres Memorial Park, in Ferndale. He was surrounded by his adopted family and close friends. He had chosen a private “green burial” in a lovely natural meadow, and will have native flowering shrubs and trees planted on his grave, with river rock “message stones” from loved ones surrounding his rock grave marker.
    Later that evening John’s Celebration of Life was held at his former residence on 4th Street. Lots of his Fairhaven friends and many many of his former comrades from yoga, pilates, The Jazz Project, political activism, and sailing showed up to celebrate the gracious generosity and adventurous spirit that was John Poggi. Many more sent flowers. I believe John would have been VERY pleased seeing how many good people cared for him.

    We lift our wine glasses in a good-bye toast to you, Helmsman. You were loved, and will not be forgotten.

  2. My heart is saddened by Johns passing. He was such a kind, caring and gentle soul. Over the years he became like a brother to our family, sharing holidays and family get togethers. He was such a joy to be around, always arriving with a great bottle of Red wine and a smile to brighten the room. Over the past year or so as his health kept him at home more, his company was truly missed, but he was always with us in our hearts. Now where ever John is sailing on the clouds I hope he is smiling and enjoying a good bottle of wine. Thank you John for touching our life!

  3. It’s heart-wrenching losing my dearest friend for almost 11 years, who was like a big brother to me. We shared so many amazing experiences: music, meals, wine, travel, art, long walks & long conversations, friends, sailing, laughs, tears and sunsets. We learned so much from each other :) I cannot delete the many e-mails & voice messages from you. I will miss you so much. The world won’t be the same without you my dearest friend Johnny.

  4. Tree says:

    John was pure gold. Hanging out with him was effortless. He was so easy going and loving and fun to be around. I’ll never forget our trip sailing together to Catalina Island. Drinking tequila on the boat and watching the sun go down… that was what John loved. He will be missed!

  5. So accident I stumbled upon your death notice……after years of online searching for you..just never made that connection. When we met in summer school at Oxnard high school I knew I found a good friend who was as zany and crazy as I am……we had so much fun ..riding around in your big ole olds..i always remember the cat we threw into the alley sewer behind your garage,…only to be observed by an old women who called the police..we denied it and when the lid was opened the cat was gone!Your parents were so nice..i remember they took me to brother ricks college football game…….glad you got out of cali..I’m still retired and living in..where else!! Oxnard.
    Rest in peace john…….my old friend.

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