Basketball 03

John "Doc" Reburn

January 12, 1935 ~ April 23, 2022 (age 87)


John Jerome Reburn, 87, was welcomed into the Gates of Heaven on April 23, 2022.  A lifelong resident of Mt. Carmel, John was born at home on January 12, 1935 to William Gordia Reburn and Viola (Engle) Reburn.  He acquired his affectionate nickname ‘Doc’ after the doctor who delivered him into this world.  A lifelong member of St. Mary’s parish, Doc was a graduate of Mt. Carmel High School, Oakland City College, and a veteran of the Navy.

He is survived by his wife, Ly Reburn; daughters Julie (Mike) Mann, Kris (JD) Bromm, and Kim (Nick) Bellessa; grandchildren Katie Bellessa, Jillian (Justin) Mink, Aaron (Luke) Jablonski, Bryce Mann, Johnathon Mann, Gabrielle Bromm, and Clayton Mann; great granddaughters Valerie Mink and Vivienne Mink; his older sister, Georgianna Boesdorfer, and several nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his parents and siblings: Bill Reburn, Earl Reburn, Mary Andrews, Frances Sharp, Jean Brewer, and Chuck Reburn.

Doc Reburn was popular around town for his larger-than-life personality, quick wit, and overall positive demeanor.  A well established and notorious force-of-nature to those he believed in, Doc was equally a force-of-nature to those he did not. Well known to be a champion and motivator to Mt. Carmel’s youth, Doc was a district school teacher and boys’ basketball coach for over 30 years. He later went on to coach the Wabash Valley College Lady Warriors.  His passion for winning the game was a palpable expectation of his players, and an equally transparent display to their foes. His resolute support for MCHS football was evident by his uninterrupted attendance for over 70 years, rarely missing a game regardless of wind, snow, hail or rain. Having grown up disadvantaged during the Great Depression, Doc’s compassion and kindness to the less fortunate children he taught in school was ingrained. 

Doc’s competitive nature also spilled over to the golf course.  He was a two-time champion of the couples’ Mt. Carmel Oil Patch Golf Classic and winner of several men’s individual golf tournaments. Doc also achieved a hole-in-one on the number two hole, twice. He was a marshal for the 2003 U.S. Open with Tiger Woods at Olympia Fields, IL Country Club, and a 1989 marshal for the PGA Championship with Payne Stewart, Kemper Lakes IL Golf Club. His love for the

Chicago Cubs and Chicago Bears was pronounced.  His disdain for the St. Louis Cardinals was proportionate.

His personality was unwavering.

A devoted grandfather, Doc spent summers taking his grandchildren caving, fishing, golfing, and eating out.  He introduced them to golf and music and took great pride in sharing his love for Elvis Presley and Tom Jones. He was extremely influential on his grandson, Clayton Mann, becoming a Nashville artist. Doc enjoyed one final moment on stage, summer of 2021, singing his two favorites with Clayton, his alpha and omega songs: “All Shook Up” by Elvis Presley and “Green Green Grass of Home” by Tom Jones. His adoration for his namesake, US Marine Veteran Johnathon Mann (John Boy) was elevated yet understood.  His fondness for his great granddaughters, Valerie and Vivienne, was tender and warm-hearted. He very much enjoyed “FaceTime” with them and became an expert on purchasing girls’ foofy dresses.

Doc Reburn relished the simple things in life, but he did nothing simply.

Doc did everything with passion, pride, commitment, and devotion. 

A life well-lived, Doc Reburn simply did everything … ‘his way.’

Our family love, affection, and remembrance of him is immense and without end.

“Papaw was larger-than-life, cooler than cool.

 I hope heaven’s grass is Augusta green and you get to hear Elvis sing.”

A Catholic Mass and celebration of life is tentatively scheduled for June 14, 2022 as Doc’s family awaits the birth of his third great granddaughter and anticipated return of his deployed US Marine grandson, Michael Bryce Mann.

Condolences may be made online at


Short-Cunningham Funeral Home is honored to serve Doc’s family.



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