John graduated from the University of Virginia in 1960 and served the U.S. Army Intelligence Corps. from 1960 – 1963. From 1964 to 2003, he held various positions with his family business Marsellus Casket Co., including President for 15 years and Chairman for 10. He volunteered and led with the American Red Cross, served the Rotary Club of Syracuse, and made a lasting difference with many other community organizations.