Captain John O Presley

January 25th, 1924 to September 25th, 2019

Captain John O. Presley, 95, of Mattawan, MI, formerly of Marysville, died Wednesday, September 25, 2019.

He was born January 25, 1924 in Port Huron to the late Frederick and Lillian Presley. He married Patricia A. O’Reilly on December 27, 1948 in Port Huron. She died December 24, 2004.

John spent 31 years with the shipping division of Bethlehem Steel Co. He was the Captain of the Burns Harbor when she was christened in 1980, and retired as Captain, last skippering the Lewis Wilson Foy, a 1000 foot vessel. John was First Mate on the Stewart J. Court, the first 1000 foot freighter, when she made her maiden voyage through the St. Clair River in May of 1972.

John was a life member of the Knights of Columbus #521, member of Black River Boat Club, and former member of St. Christopher Catholic Church and Shipmasters Association. He also had a passion for ice hockey and was a long time season ticket holder for the Port Huron Flags. John was a member of the Port Huron YMCA for many years and was a member of the 1000 mile swim club, which he was quite active with in to his 80’s.

He is survived by his son, David (Cindy) Presley; grandsons, Nicholas (Miranda) and Brian (Debbie), and great-grandchildren Harper and Hayden Presley. He was preceded in death by his siblings, Jack, Dorothy, Eleanor, Frederick and Walter Dean Presley.

A Funeral Mass will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Monday, September 30, 2019 in St. Christopher Catholic Church with visitation beginning at 10:00 a.m. The Reverend James Arwady will officiate.

Burial will be in Mt. Hope Cemetery.

Memorial contributions may be made to St. Christopher Catholic Church, Marysville. To send condolences, visit

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