Cochonour, John*

After graduating in January 1965, I attended Junior College. During my second semester I was called up in the draft and luckily landed in the National Guard. Unfortunately, I ended up involved in the major race riots and the Democratic Convention in Chicago. Donna & I were married in 1969 and moved to Tinley Park. Donna was a teacher in Evergreen Park and retired two years ago. In the early 70's I embarked on my own retail business named "The Loft". My partner and I had three jeans stores located in Ford City, Palos Heights and Orland Square. In 1982 we liquidated the business and I joined Gingiss Formalwear and worked there until 1999.  I was Vice President of Company Store Operations, however the company was sold several times and I was cut at the last buyout. During this time Donna & I were blessed with twin daughters in 1976 arriving the day we were moving into our new house. Our girls are both married and live in the North suburbs and we have four Grandchildren. Strange as it seems with my connections in retail, I've never connected with anyone from our graduating class. Following Gingiss, I was going to remain in the apparel arena, however I was approached to join an auto dealership in Tinley Park just blocks from my home. While I had never envisioned "Car Salesman" on my bio, I jumped in knowing there was management potential.  My hunch proved to be right and I ended up opening and running two additional dealerships.

I am now it what could be considered "pre-retirement" mode. I've cut my hours a bit, but I thoroughly enjoy the car business so now I function as an assistant to the Owners. I'll probably work in some fashion for another two years.

Donna & I still live in TP in the house I built in 1976. I serve on two Village Commissions and have a bit of Political involvement in local Government. Donna has retired from teaching in Evergreen Park after 43 years, but I think I'll keep on going for a while.

Hot Rods and classic cars are my hobby and passion as I always was a gearhead at heart.

Jack Cochonour