John William Minnick, Jr. formerly of Sedona, died peacefully in his sleep, on January 1,
2009, after a long illness. Family was by his side. He was 80 years old. After 59 years of
marriage, John leaves behind his wife, Maryann, three sons; John M. (Lindsey) of
Flagstaff, Jeffrey F. (ArLean) of Sedona, and James W. of Denver, CO, seven
grandchildren and five great-grandchildren. For the past 11 years, he resided in Clarkdale
with his wife.
John was born in Toledo, OH on March 7, 1928. He served in the Naval Reserves for
eight years during the Korean War and WW 2. John moved his family from Pasadena,
California to Sedona in 1975. He owned and operated the La Vista Hotel in Uptown
Sedona, when he began the Sedona Inn Keepers Association, whose concept, in part, has
evolved into the current Sedona Lodging Council. In 1978, John Minnick became the
third owner of Pink Jeep Tours. For ten years, he and his wife, along with their sons as
tour guides, operated Sedona's first jeep touring business and turned it into the renown
tourist experience it now is, helping to put Sedona on the map, worldwide. John was a
businessman, who owned and operated several Sedona businesses before retiring in 1995.
In 1987, John trademarked the icon phrase "Spirit of Sedona", when his passion for
Sedona reminded its residence that "We are Sedona's future". This ear-marked the
beginning of the Spirit of Sedona Awards, which recognized upstanding Sedona residents
for their valued contributions of time, energy, talent and finances to the town they loved.
Recipients included Cecil Lochart-Smith, Judge Petit and his wife, Georgia, Laura
Purdyman, Sedona Schnebly, and Joe Beeler. In 2006, John philanthropically donated the
"Spirit of Sedona" phrase to the Sedona Community Foundation, who has carried on the
tradition of recognizing valued residents and their accomplishments. He was honored for
his donation in a ceremony in 2006 and was himself, presented with the award in
recognition of his contributions to the Sedona he loved.
John will be missed by all those who knew and loved him and he will be remembered as
part of the "family" of uptown merchants that co-existed long before Sedona's
Interment is being handled by Westcott Funeral Home. A private graveside service will
take place on January 23. A memorial service in John's honor will take place on March 7
from 2-4 p.m. at the Christ Center Wesleyan Church on Brewer Road, Sedona. All are
In lieu of flowers, please send any donations to Northern Arizona Hospice. Their loving
care to John and his family is greatly appreciated.
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