John Robert Means, 64, of St. Marys died at his home on May 24 following an extended illness. John was born on Aug. 9, 1951, in Beloit, Wis., to the late John Arthur Means and Betty Lou Means. John lived in Sasebo, Japan, and Kalamazoo, Mich., before moving to Norwalk, Conn., at the age of 5. In Norwalk, he attended Brian McMahon High School where he played four sports and graduated in 1969. He attended Penn State University, where he studied architecture and economics, and was a member of the Alpha Tau Omega fraternity.
John’s ever-present desire to expand his horizons led him to join the U.S. Army in 1973, where he was trained in journalism. He was stationed in Hanau, Germany, and served for three years. He received an honorable discharge at the end of his service. Upon his return from Germany, he completed his undergraduate degree in economics at the University of North Carolina Charlotte. John worked in restaurant management for several years before attending law school and receiving his juris doctor degree from Campbell University in North Carolina in 1986.
John was employed by several law firms in Charlotte, N.C., before moving to Atlanta in 1992. In Atlanta, he worked in the legal department of Turner Broadcasting as a rights analyst from 1995 to 2006. Much of his work involved the complicated copyright terms and distribution rights for the film libraries owned by Turner, which allowed him to utilize his great capacity for detail. Following his time at Turner, he worked in Los Angeles from 2006-2007 as a contractor for Warner Brothers and enjoyed the chance to explore Southern California.
John met his bride to be, Cynthia Lynn Schrader, in 1993, and they were married in 1995. John and Cindy lived in the Atlanta area until 2007, and were members of Ivy Creek church and the Atlanta Power and Sail squadron, enjoying boating on Lake Lanier. In 2007, they relocated to the coastal town of St. Marys.
John taught legal courses from 2009-2014 at the Navy Education Center at Kings Bay Naval Submarine Base for Brenau University and Valdosta State University, and also taught at the College of Coastal Georgia. He greatly enjoyed teaching and loved figuring out ways to make the law understandable and interesting to his students.
During his time in St. Marys, John was very involved in the community. Most recently he served as vice president of the St. Marys Submarine Museum board of directors; was a member of the Georgia State Bar and the Camden County Bar Association; and was editor of Harbour Lights, a community website. He was also a member of Kingsland First United Methodist Church.
John’s interests and hobbies were many and included boating, photography, watching football, travel, teaching and U.S. Navy submarines. John and Cindy enjoyed many trips together and with family and friends. John was always open to making new friends and finding new interests. He will be missed greatly by his family and friends.
Survivors include his wife, Cindy Means of St. Marys; sisters, Beth Wolk (Alex) and Kathy Lidestri (Bern); and six beloved nieces and nephews. In addition, he leaves behind loving in-laws, aunts, uncles, cousins and many friends.
A memorial service celebrating John’s life will be held at 1 p.m. on Saturday, July 9, at Kingsland First United Methodist Church. A reception for family and friends will follow at the Means residence. The family requests contributions in memory of John be made to the St. Marys Submarine Museum for the John Means Scholarship Fund, P.O. Box 5640, St. Marys, GA 31558.