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John Proffitt

Great grandfather, car enthusiast, pilot

Longtime Claremont resident John Proffitt died suddenly at home on April 30. He was 72.

John was born October 26, 1947 in Kansas City, Missouri. He came to California when he was 16 and never left.

He enjoyed flying airplanes and helicopters, and spent a decade as a professional midget sprint car racer at Ascot Park in Gardena, California. He later raced dwarf cars, go-carts and motorcycles as an amateur.

He loved classic cars and for a time sold disc brake conversions for early-1960s American vehicles. He recently realized a 50-year dream when he acquired a 1923 Ford Model T Roadster.

“He saw one on 77 Sunset Strip when he was about 10, and he always wanted one,” his wife, Darilyn “Dee” Proffitt said. 

He is survived by his wife of 52 years, Dee; daughters Heather and Holly; five grandchildren; and one great-granddaughter. 

He was cremated at Todd Memorial Chapel. No services are planned.

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