John Van Bezooyen
November 3, 1948 – December 22, 2022
John Van Bezooyen 74, designer and builder of fantastic structures, man of mystery and music, prolific reader, lover of cats and all animals, passed away at home with his wife Janie holding his hand and reading him the myriad messages pouring in for him on Facebook. As a tear rolled from his eye he took one of his last breaths and peacefully passed into the sacred beyond while a devoted hospice nurse also witnessed his transition.
John Van Bezooyen and Janie Swartz were married at her home in 2005 in the aspen and pines of Steamboat Springs Colorado. In late 2006 Janie took early retirement as a tenured college professor and they moved to the home that John had designed and was building in Dos Cabezas, Arizona. There they enjoyed walking the washes, looking for rocks while hoping for gold.
Janie fulfilled her dream of being a cowgirl as she enjoyed her horses and they rescued llamas, alpacas, and donkeys while John continued to build and expand his house until it was four bedrooms and four bathroom on five levels, totally designed and constructed by himself. Janie truly believed as the ancients did that he was a magician as he could not only design but make a building appear.
As they grew older they decided to move to Vail in 2013 to a house John found that they both loved. In 2016 they decided they were too close to civilization so they bought land north of Sonoita and John decided they should have a one story home for their golden years. In 2017 they had to move five times due to being caught in two wildfires. But ironically on the same day he died in December in 2022, five years earlier Janie and John moved into their newly built home.
John’s decline became apparent to him in 2018 as he refused to play the guitar, thinking it was arthritis. By fall of 2020 he was seeing a neurologist and went through diagnosis of ALS, Parkinson’s, Super Nuclear Palsy and finally the incurable Parkinson’s Plus Disease. Very similar to ALS, it robbed him of his left hand then left side , then right side, and was robbing him of his speech. He was still brilliant as he was also a scamp and a scallawag with a wicked sense of humor and had his nurse belly dance for him just eight days ago. He wanted to leave with dignity and without drama.
Donations can be made in his memory to your local animal shelter or to the Micheal J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research.
John also leaves behind three daughters— Jodi Samson, Julie Drachman and Jaime Richards—and four grandchildren, as well as two sisters, Trudy Laub and Jessica McCoy.
This obituary and announcement was written with John’s wishes. A private celebration memorial will be held in January in accordance with John’s wishes.