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Capt. John McCleland FORETICH

Capt. John McCleland FORETICH

Male 1923 - 2011  (88 years)

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  • Name John McCleland FORETICH 
    Prefix Capt. 
    Born 2 Jun 1923  Biloxi, Harrison County, Mississippi Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Gender Male 
    Occupation ship pilot; had marine contracting company in Gulfport 
    Religion First United Methodist Church 
    Died 24 Dec 2011  Gulfport, Mississippi Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Notes 
    • John received his first U.S. Coast Guard license in 1940 at age seventeen. He joined the U.S. Navy soon after the attack on Pearl Harbor, where he became a signalman and gunner with the U.S.Armed Guard. The U.S. Navy Armed Guard was commissioned to protect the Merchant Ships crossing the Atlantic during World War II, and John served during seven successful convoy crossings of the North Atlantic. He also participated in the Invasion of Normandy, and Oran North Africa. He was also the recipient of the Purple Heart.

      After World War II, John returned home to become a charter boat captain. In 1959, he became a bar and harbor pilot, guiding 5,969 ships to safe harbor through the Gulfport Ship Channel, to and from the Port of Gulfport. During his thirty-four years of service, John was instrumental in the fight to widen and deepen the Gulfport Ship Channel, which now allows for much larger vessels to navigate the port.

      As owner of the Foretich Marine Contracting Company, and Gulf Marine Towing, along with his partnership with Gulfport Towing, John worked to build harbors and piers, transport goods, and provided marine salvage services across the entire Gulf Coast. He was president of the Gulfport Pilots Association, and a member of the International Organization of Masters, Mates, and Pilots.

      John was past commander of the Military Order of the Purple Heart of America, member of the U.S. Navy League, Veterans of Foreign War, and Joe Graham Post of the American Legion. He was a 32nd degree mason, having joined the Gulfport Masonic Lodge in1953. He was a charter member of the Shiner Joppa Temple of Gulfport, Scottish Rite of Freemasonry, Order of the Eastern Star, Mississippi Coast Shrine Club, and a lifetime member of the Gulfport Elks Club #978.

      --preceding paragraphs from obituary in The Sun Herald

      "My Mom and Dad, Robert L. Rice III and Rosemary Foretich went on a double date.... Dad bringing his sister, Rose Margaret Rice. (TeTe) and Mother bringing her brother John Foretich.  Both couples married and had 7 children and a set of twins too!  Though TeTe lost a newborn in the hospital from suffocation.  Anyway, so this makes John and TeTe's children my double first cousins.  At least that is what we have always called each other."

      Ship pilot for Gulfport; he brought the big ships in and out of the harbor.
    Person ID I910  MyFamilyInfo
    Last Modified 23 Jan 2015 

    Father Charles Joseph FORETICH,   b. 28 May 1885, Woolmarket, Mississippi Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 21 Nov 1966, Gulfport, Mississippi Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 81 years) 
    Mother Mae Charlotte MCCLELAND,   b. 6 May 1894, New Orleans, Louisiana Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 17 Feb 1979, Gulfport, Mississippi Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 84 years) 
    Married 11 Nov 1911  Biloxi, Mississippi Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Notes 
    • Married November 11, 1911 at 11:00 am and had 11 children.
    Family ID F186  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family 1 Rose Margaret RICE,   b. 23 Aug 1924,   d. 12 Jan 1985  (Age 60 years) 
    Married 6 Jan 1945  Harrison County, Mississippi Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Children 
    +1. John McCleland FORETICH, Jr.
     2. Charles FORETICH, II
    +3. Sharon FORETICH
     4. Rose Margaret FORETICH
     5. Richard FORETICH
    +6. Jan FORETICH
    +7. Charlotte FORETICH
    Last Modified 18 Feb 2016 
    Family ID F661  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family 2 Emma Dean HEFLIN 
    Married 8 Feb 1986  Harrison County, Mississippi Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Last Modified 18 Feb 2016 
    Family ID F1103  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Photos 50th Anniversary of Charles and Mae McCleland Foretich
    Standing (L-R): Billy Foretich, Marty Foretich, A.J. "Pat" Foretich, Mary T. Foretich, TeTe Foretich, John Foretich, Billy Meadows, Eunice Meadows, Kay Foretich, Gerald Foretich, Charlie Foretich and his wife (name unknown), Mignonette Foretich Rippy, Bill Rippy

    Seated: Charles Joseph Foretich and Mae Charlotte McCleland Foretich

    Floor (L-R): Alice Joyce Foretich Laird, Rosemary Foretich Rice, Katherine Foretich Rahrer (At least one living or private individual is linked to this item - Details withheld.)
    John Foretich
    John Foretich
    John M. Foretich, Sr.
    John M. Foretich, Sr.