by Trevor Jensen
The Chicago Tribune
March 10, 2010
Taylor John, son of baseball great Tommy John and an accomplished
singer who performed on Broadway as a boy and sang with choirs at two
north suburban churches, died Tuesday, March 9.
Mr. John, 28, had struggled with depression for several years, said
his sister, Tamara Mannelly. He died as the result of a seizure and
heart failure because of an overdose of prescription drugs, she said.
He was taken from Mannelly's home in Libertyville, where he also
lived, to NorthShore University HealthSystem Skokie Hospital. An
autopsy is pending, according to the Cook County medical examiner's
Mr. John had been a teachers assistant at Deerpath Middle School in
Lake Forest for about 2 1/2 years, said the school's principal, John
Steinert. He also worked with children during the summers at the Lake
Bluff Park District, his sister said.
"He was a tremendous staff member, (had) really wonderful and profound
relationships with staff and with kids," said Steinert, who recalled
Mr. John shooting baskets with students.
Mr. John was a choir member and soloist at St. Patrick Catholic Church
in Lake Forest, said Jennifer Boldry, the church's business manager.
He also sang at Church of the Holy Spirit in Lake Forest, his sister
Mr. John's father pitched for several major league teams, including
the White Sox. Winner of 288 games, he is also well-known for coming
back to pitch from the elbow surgery that is now commonly referred to
as Tommy John surgery.
Growing up, Mr. John moved frequently as the family followed his
father's career. As a boy, he sang in "Les Miserables" on Broadway and
in a national tour.
He graduated from Queens University of Charlotte, N.C., with a degree
in communications in 2006 and moved to the Chicago area not long
afterward, said his sister, wife of Bears player Patrick Mannelly.
In addition to singing several times at the Little League World Series
in Williamsport, Pa., Mr. John recorded a version of the national
anthem that was made available to leagues across the country.
In addition to his father and sister, Mr. John is survived by his
mother, Sally, and two brothers, Tommy III and Travis.
Visitation is set for 1 p.m., with services at 2 p.m., on Saturday in
St. Patrick Catholic Church, 991 S. Waukegan Road, Lake Forest.
Legal drugs kill far more of us than illegals.