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John Newton McCabe, Jr.

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Fort Walton Beach, FL | The Destin Log

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John Newton McCabe, Jr., 79, a long-time resident of Destin, Florida, passed away peacefully on January 22, 2023, surrounded by family.

John was born May 6, 1943 to Frances Watkins and John Newton McCabe in Birmingham, Alabama. A competitive athlete, scout and hunter, John’s favorite days as a young man were found in the nearby coal town of Dora, home to his grandparents and its deeply southern way of life. Here, the dense woods of Walker County and The Watkins Drug Store would bring a lifetime of fond memories.

Later, John moved with his family to Greenhills, Ohio. He graduated from Miami University of Ohio with a B.S. in Business. It was during this time that he met and married Greenhills native Elizabeth Rasnic, who would stand by his side for 55 years.

After graduation, John joined Holiday Inn in Memphis, Tennessee where he would become Vice-President of Construction during the largest expansion period of the company in the 1970’s. John later began his own real estate venture, McCabe-Bland Construction, before moving to the Emerald Coast in 1978, and founding Mariner Properties. In his later years, John fell in love with Highlands, North Carolina – often escaping the heat and traffic of Destin – to ride his tractor across twenty-three acres of farm land in the Appalachian hills.

John’s talent was defined by a keen eye for detail. Equally important was the talent of those he surrounded himself with: his admiration for the hard work and dedication of others to a project was genuine. These are the peers that surrounded him throughout his life and remained his good friends.

John is survived by his wife, Beth; son, Scott (Lucy) of Franklin, Tennessee; daughter, Kelly (Shawn Evans) of Santa Fe, New Mexico; brother, Sam (Sue) of Dothan, Alabama; sister, Marsha Ryan of Athens, Alabama; grandchildren, Eleanor, Calder, John, and Truman; and numerous cousins, nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his mother Frances Watkins McCabe, father John Newton McCabe, brother Joseph Watkins McCabe and stepmother Myrtie McCabe.

A Celebration of Life will be held on February 11, 2023 from 4:00-6:00 pm at The Clubhouse at Kelly Plantation, 307 Kelly Plantation Drive, Destin, Florida 32541. Final interment will be held at the family plot at Elmwood Cemetery in Birmingham. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

Posted online on January 24, 2023

Published in Northwest Florida Daily News

Service Information

Memorial Service

The Clubhouse at Kelly Plantation 307 Kelly Plantation Drive Destin FL 32541
February 11, 2023 at 4:00 PM - 6:00 PM