John Lavern Lybarger, 71, of Battle Creek, Michigan, passed away on Sunday, October 20, 2019 at home. He was born on July 20, 1948, the son of Samuel Purdy Lybarger and Vernice Pearl (Kelley) Masengale
John graduated from Battle Creek Central High School in 1967. He was selected by classmates with a partner (Earl Borgman) to represent his high school in a statewide automotive troubleshooting competition sponsored by the Plymouth-Chrysler Corporation. They won second place, (missed first place by 4 seconds), in the state of Michigan. Upon graduation in 1967, he enlisted in the Marine Corps. He served with 8 inch Howitzers in the Communication Platoon in Vietnam in several different locations for nineteen months. He then served with the 11th Marines at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. He obtained the rank of Sergeant and was honorably discharged on August 20, 1971. He received many awards throughout his term, those included: National Defense Service Medal, Vietnam Service Medal with one silver star, Vietnam Campaign Medal, Meritorious Unit Citation, Cross of Gallantry with Palm Cluster, Presidential Unit Citation, Rifle Marksman Badge, and Good Conduct Medal. He later worked was a mechanic, and in 1972 went to work with General Motors in Kalamazoo, MI until it closed in 1994. He then transferred to Mansfield, Ohio General Motors until retirement in 2006. He married Linda Elaine Gamber in 1969. Following a divorce he married Michiko Fujishima in 1973. Both have preceded him in death.
John was also the co-author of The Lybarger Descendants. He took pride in finding family and compiling thousands of names into a book that was published in 1997, consisting of 773 pages. He published another book in 2000 with 1,006 pages and in July of 2012, another book on CD with 1,768 pages and over 36,000 names. He received the LMA Distinguished Service Award for all his hard work in the genealogy field.
John is survived by his Girlfriend of 10 Years, Dawn Nikka, Mother, Vernice Masengale, Sister, Sharon Schrock and Two Brothers, Danny Lybarger and Tom Masengale. He was preceded in death by his Father, Samuel Purdy Lybarger.
Per John's request, cremation has taken place. No funeral services will take place at this time.
Arrangements entrusted to the Baxter Funeral and Cremation Service. 269-788-9800.