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Obituary of John Andrew Amos
John Andrew “Chico” Amos was born in Los Angeles, California, on August 23, 1938, to Arnet and Adelaide Amos, an opera singer/actor and music teacher, respectively. He and his sister, Jean Amos, joined their parents as they fled McCarthyism in the ‘50s and traveled to Europe, where his father coordinated and taught choral groups on U.S. military bases.
John returned to the U.S. to attend high school in Los Angeles, then attended Whitman College for two years, where he was a member of the TKE fraternity. Leaving college for a time, he went into the Navy, where he served on the USS Pine for the latter half of the ‘60s. After his service ended, he went on to earn his BA in History from California State University, Hayward. He then made his career in electronics, working overseas at first, then in the US.
In 1967, he married Catherine Fultz, who was his former college sweetheart at Whitman. They were wed in Gibraltar in the same registry office that John Lennon and Yoko Ono would be wed in a few months later. When they returned to the States, John and Catherine were active in the anti-war movement in the Bay Area. They had a daughter, Alexandra Ash (previously known as Kelly Amos), and later divorced in 1974.
In his middle years, John (who preferred to be called Amos by then) worked in Silicon Valley as a Quality Control Engineer, but his heart lay in volunteering for theater and emergency preparedness organizations. His love of stage managing and construction led him to many exciting opportunities, from building sets for Opera San Jose productions to working on a play that went to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in Scotland, where some of his Amos ancestors hailed from. His interest in helping others in times of crisis led him to volunteer with San Jose emergency organizations in different positions, including as a communication officer, making sure firefighters and others were able to get what and where they needed quickly during California wildfires. He also worked in the first aid tents at outdoor events, traveled to help survivors of natural disasters across the country, and was a proud supporter of Planned Parenthood, standing outside clinics as a sarcastic and intimidating physical barrier between those who needed their services and the protesters trying to block them from entering.
In his later years, Amos moved up to Washington State to be closer to his daughter. He lived in Olympia and Lacey for two decades, volunteering with local rescue services and serving as a board member for TCTV, Olympia’s local access channel, for seven years. He continued his political activism as well, standing vigil with anti-war and other protest groups in downtown Olympia. He was also an active member of the local ham radio community, using the call sign of W6EVG, which he inherited from his high school girlfriend’s father.
Amos passed away January 13, 2024, in Shelton, Washington. He is survived and greatly missed by his daughter, Alexandra Ash; his ex-wife, Catherine Amos; and his son-in-law, Allen Gilchrist. He was preceded in death by his parents, Arnet and Adelaide Amos; and his sister, Jean Amos; as well as his beloved cat, Molly.
Memorial donations may be made to Planned Parenthood, in lieu of cards or flowers.
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