John Bernard Champeau, a beloved father, grandfather, and retired lieutenant colonel in the United States Marine Corps, passed away peacefully on December 2, 2023, at the age of 76. Born on March 3, 1947, in New York, New York, John’s vibrant spirit touched the lives of those fortunate enough to know him.
Throughout his life, John exemplified the values of dedication, courage, and loyalty. His 22-year career in the Marine Corps was marked by countless acts of service and bravery. As a testament to his heroism, John was awarded the Bronze Star with Combat “V” for his exceptional valor in Vietnam, where he selflessly put his life on the line for his fellow soldiers. He received numerous other medals and awards that reflected his commitment to protecting and serving his country.
Beyond his military accomplishments, John was a man of diverse interests and passions. He cherished his identity as a Marine for life, always carrying the values instilled in him throughout his entire existence. Golfing with his buddies brought him joy and relaxation, while his heart danced to the rhythms of 50-60’s rock, especially the Beach Boys and Creedence Clearwater Revival. However, nothing could compare to the delight John found in spending time with his family. Christmas, his favorite time of the year, provided the perfect opportunity for him to gather his loved ones around him and create treasured memories.
John’s commitment to faith and education was evident through his involvement with the Church of the Ascension and his proud membership in the Providence College Alumni. John is credited with reinvigorating Friar Football at the club level, a program which continued for more than 20 years. He has also supported the endowed Friends of Friar Football Scholarship Fund, still in place today. He earned a master’s degree from the University of Southern California, further enriching his understanding and knowledge.
John will be deeply missed by his daughters, Jennae Champeau and Jayna Champeau, along with their respective partners, Amy Hasenauer and George “Sonny” Washburn IV. His grandson George “V” Washburn V, brought immeasurable joy to his life, and John’s presence will forever be embedded in his heart. He also leaves behind many extended family members and friends whose lives were positively impacted by his kindness and warmth.
A Memorial Mass celebrating John’s life will be held at the Church of the Ascension on Tuesday, December 19, starting at 12:00pm. His final resting place will be at Quantico National Cemetery, where he will be buried at a later date.
John Bernard Champeau will be remembered as a dedicated serviceman, a loving father and grandpa, and a man who lived by the principles of honor, courage, and commitment. His legacy will continue to inspire others, reminding us all to embrace life’s challenges with grace and resilience. May he find eternal peace in the embrace of his heavenly journey.
Condolences may be left online at www.altmeyerfh.com. In lieu of flowers please consider making a memorial contribution in John’s name to the “Friends of Friar Football Scholarship Fund”. Donations may be made by going to www.tmcfunding.com or by clicking the link “HERE”.