Obituary of John Michael Pavan
Our beloved John Pavan passed away on July 3rd, 2023 in the arms of his nearest and dearest.
John, Johnny, Dad, Babbo, Pops, JP, Uncle John; he was an incredibly loving and devoted
husband, father, grandfather, partner, son, sibling, mentor and friend. We hope that now, just as in
life, that he is surrounded by peace, joy and love.
John Michael Pavan was welcomed into this world on March 23rd, 1960 in Yorktown Heights,
NY, the 2nd of 5 children to George Angelo Pavan and Norma Anna (Giannini) Pavan. He was
raised to value having a close family, their Italian traditions, meaningful work and a good sense
of humor. Much of his childhood was spent exploring the woods with his siblings and building a
deep relationship with the natural world which remained a pillar of his life, bringing him endless
joy and inspiration. Getting a Maine moose permit in 2020 and harvesting a beautiful animal
with his brothers was a highlight of their lives.
He attended Clarkson University in Potsdam, New York as an enthusiastic engineering student
who was also a respected dorm RA, and a member of Alpha Chi Rho Fraternity. Just before
graduation, John fell madly in love with Carol Ladd, a radiant young woman with an infectious
smile. They married six months later and enjoyed a beautiful partnership for 35 years.
John and Carol proudly owned their first homes together in New Rochelle, NY and Boston, MA
before moving to Acton, MA in 1985, after the birth of their first child, Kendall. John used his
creative vision and skills as a craftsman to bring new life to every space they lived in, turning
houses into homes. They lived there for 30 years raising their daughters, Kendall and Tracey. A
devoted and loving father, John spent countless hours supporting their interests, academics and
sports. Family vacations were spent camping, hiking, attending baseball games at Fenway Park
and visiting family all over the country. John, Tracey and Kendall especially loved cooking
together; gathering around the kitchen counter for hours was a cornerstone of their family life
with Carol’s smile enjoying every moment. During his time in Acton, John was also deeply
embedded in the community as a volunteer on the planning board, a protector of third base on the
Raging Infernos softball team, and a committed cyclist who completed many Pan Mass
Challenges to benefit Dana Farber. John, a natural magnet for bringing people together, was the
friend who organized group fishing trips, hosted annual “Game Night Feast” dinners, and hand-
made countless personal gifts for friends and family in his woodshop.
John’s professional life centered around commercial real estate. He worked for various
companies throughout New England, and successfully launched some of his own. In the later
years of his career he used his decades of experience to advise and mentor others. He was
especially drawn to young entrepreneurial people who shared his passions in social and
environmental arenas including aquaculture. He was energized by the possibility of pioneering
solutions that he considered critical for our collective future, and he loved being part of like-
In 2015 John and Carol fulfilled the dream of their next chapter by moving to Brunswick, ME.
Together they cultivated a fun and peaceful life through enjoying hiking, family, friends, and
simple pleasures. After losing his beloved wife of 35 years in 2018, he continued on with their new life in their favorite place, Maine. Through his personal pain he chose to soften his heart,
become his most genuine self, and turn outward toward helping others.
During the last 5 years he built another full, extraordinary life in Maine. Johnny met and fell
deeply in love with Gena Canning. Their rich and deep partnership also carried everlasting love
for their beloved deceased partners, and they cherished each other's friends and families. John
was so honored to be a member of the Canning Family. Their life together was full of fun,
family, community, adventure, boat trips, pickleball, music, art, nature, hobbies, and the most
fulfilling work of his career. John’s contributions in Maine included volunteering for Score, the
Brunswick YMCA, and as a Top Gun mentor. He was currently serving on the boards of
American Unagi, OpBox, Maine Technology Institute and as an advisor to countless others.
Starting in 2017, the arrival of his two beloved grandchildren, Gwenivere and Gus, brought him
the new title of Pops, his favorite of all. It was easy to see the love and connection he shared with
his daughters and grandchildren, which was beyond words.
If you were lucky enough to know John Pavan, he made your life better. He was a living example
of how to live true to your own values, and the number one supporter for so many, encouraging,
and connecting everyone around him. He could always be counted on for a warm smile, a very
real hug, a funny story and a delicious meal. He will be missed.
John is survived by his daughter Kendall St Laurent, her husband Kevin and their daughter Gwen
of Warwick, RI; his daughter Tracey Pavan, her husband Chris Lord and their son Gus of
Rockland, ME; his partner Gena Canning of Portland, ME and her children Dave, Holly and
Chris Register; his brother Ed and wife Nicole Pavan of Murrell’s Inlet, SC; his brother Bill
Pavan of East New Market, MD; his brother Joe Pavan of Hopewell Junction, NY; and sister
Christine Baron and her husband Curtis of Mahopac, NY; as well as many beloved nieces and
nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents, his wife and his two adored springer spaniels,
Tucker and Harry.
A Celebration of his life will be held on:
July 30th at 3 o’clock PM at Zach’s Farm, 7 Colby Turner Lane, York, ME 03909
In lieu of flowers donations can be made in memory of John Pavan to any of the following:
• United Recovery Fund (501-c3 partner of MaineWorks), 494 Forest Ave, Portland, ME 04101
• Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Assoc., PO Box 170 Unity, ME
• Harpswell Heritage Land Trust, 153 Harpswell Neck Road, Harpswell, ME 04079