Ames, John Michael
John Michael Ames was born on April 18, 1944, in East Long Beach, California, the son of Howard P. Ames and Evelyn Egan Ames. He died on January 3, 2017, in Gainesville, Florida, after post-surgery complications.
In 1970 John earned his master’s degree in English from the University of Florida, where he was awarded a Ford Fellowship. He taught English and film studies for thirty years at Santa Fe College in Gainesville, retiring in 2001. In the intervening years he reviewed movies for WUFT, Gainesville’s National Public Radio affiliate, for ten years; swam with manatees in the Crystal River; trekked across Iceland with his girlfriend; created a cable TV series with his friend Henry titled The Tub Interviews, wherein all the interviewees were required to be in a bathtub; wrote Adventures in Nowhere (a coming-of-age novel set in Tampa) and co-wrote Speaking of Florida and a two-volume autobiography of Renée Richards; went sky-diving; built a geodesic dome in the woods north of Gainesville; and hitchhiked from Florida to New England with Mike, his friend since the fifth grade.
John was a good man–kind and intelligent and humorous and honest, all the things everyone wants to be–but he didn’t think of himself as being those things, only always trying to be. He was an exceptional teacher who changed the minds and lives of many students who returned to thank him.
He was preceded in death by his parents and his sisters, Marilyn Ames and Shirley Ames Johnson. He is survived by Deidre Bryan, his dearest friend and companion of many years; a small circle of close longtime friends; and a large circle of friends who knew and loved him. He treasured his relationships with all of us.
A green burial service will be held at the Prairie Creek Conservation Cemetery on Thursday, January 19, 2017, at 11:00 a.m., followed by a reception at the Prairie Creek Lodge nearby. Casual clothes and walking shoes are recommended; you’ll be walking in the woods. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Amnesty International. Arrangements are under the care of Forest Meadows Funeral Home, Gainesville, Fl.