John Ignacio |

John Ignacio

Sept. 23, 1936 – May 5, 2014

On May 5, 2014 John rode his Harley trike to the local grocery store in Florence, Arizona to pick up various items needed for a bbq later that evening. It was a short trip from which he was not destined to return. On the way home, he safely pulled over to the side of the road where he experienced a sudden heart attack. Good Samaritans immediately stopped to render aid and John was rushed to the hospital where staff unsuccessfully attempted to revive him. John is survived by his wife Terri, brother Victor, children John Jr., Catherine, Wesley, Jennifer, Cindy, Victor, and Ramon. He was also blessed with 16 grandchildren and 3 great grandchildren. Preceding him in passing were his parents Macario and Catherine, brother Macario Jr., sister Patsy, and sister-in-law Jackie. John was born September 23, 1936 in Washington D.C. Upon graduation from Catholic School, he enlisted in the Air Force and served four years in Germany as a combat medic and an X-Ray technician. After leaving military service he continued his career in Washington D.C. as an X-ray technician while attending Montgomery Junior College and Georgetown University. John then moved west and earned a Bachelor of Sociology degree from University of California, Santa Cruz while working as a juvenile corrections counselor. John pursued a graduate degree and relocated to Texas earning a Master of Anthropology degree from Southern Methodist University. He taught at University of Nevada Reno while pursuing a Ph.D. degree in anthropology when he was recruited by the Nevada Department of Prisons in 1975 while working on his dissertation. This was an educational journey he also did not return from. Prison work became his avocation and career and he served the State of Nevada for 25 years at the Department of Corrections, retiring in 2000 as the Warden of the Nevada State Prison, a position he held for 10 years. John loved his work and had a passion for the field of corrections and the Nevada Department of Corrections. During his career he observed and participated in a great adventure full of social change and departmental growth and increased professionalism. John was very “old school” conservative and enjoyed listening to Paul Harvey and arguing with the television news announcers. He was a rabid Redskins fan and devoted fan of the Texas Rangers who originated in D.C. He loved scuba diving, riding the Harley, traveling, reading, animals, shopping, cooking, gardening, underwater photography, and especially his family. He was well-traveled and loved a good adventure, of which he had many; from river rafting to short-field landings in foreign countries. He often fought for the underdog and saw the positive in people when others were unable to do so. John was at his core fair and dependable. He was excited to be greeted by all beloved family and animals that have preceded him in the journey. In his death he gave a very generous tissue and skin donation to the Phoenix burn unit to aid in the relief of the suffering of others. Classic John. The family requests that in John’s honor a donation be made to the Wounded Warrior’s Program (, as he was proud of his service, and was ever grateful for those who served and sacrificed for the freedoms and ideals of the United States of America. John will be remembered and missed by many, especially the employees he worked with at the Department of Corrections for so much of his life. John had an incredible memory for detail, and his knowledge and memory of the history of the Department made him a virtual State treasure of the oral tradition. His accuracy and judgment at work earned him the nickname known by close associates as “Dr. Know”, a nickname originally given to him by the Warden’s assistant Ruth Miller in the 1970’s when John was working at the Northern Nevada Correctional Center. That nickname stuck since it was so appropriate. While working for the DOC he forged lifetime relationships with countless individuals. A Celebration of Life is scheduled for May 31st at Capitol Christian Center, in Carson City, Nevada on 1600 Snyder Ave. at 3:00 pm. John hopes to see all of you there!