ForeverMissed
This memorial website was created in memory of our uncle, John Page.
We will remember him forever.
 
Please join John's friends and family for lunch, story-telling and merriment... 

Celebration of Life Gathering
in memory of John Page


Saturday, September 10, 2016
11am - 2pm

Sylvan Lake Lodge Veranda
24572 SD Highway 87
Custer, SD 57730

Immediately following lunch, you are welcome to join us for a memorial tour through Custer State Park as we visit John's most treasured places. Carpooling is highly suggested due to lack of adequate parking!

   
We are in search of a climber who would like to honor John by climbing up to the John's Jump route (jumping is optional!)


 Blessings,

John’s Nieces
Posted by Matthew Smith on February 5, 2021
I sure wish I knew when I visited Custer State park in 2001 That John was my 2nd cousin 2 times removed . We spent the day there in the park and the Koa campground. I saw my First mountain goat there in the park and it was a thrill It was so wild and beautiful . I started researching my Page family history this year and have learned alot about my Kansas branch kin.    John I really wish could have met and talked to you.
Posted by Katie Page on June 5, 2020
John, I recently found out Custer made the short list for a family trip my friend in Chicago was planning. She reached out to me for advice and I lit up with excitement trying to describe how magical Custer is for me and telling her stories of visits with John and the new connections made when he passed. Her girls are about the same age as Nikki and I were for our first trip to Custer. They will be there for a week in July and I’m so excited to hear how they respond to the magic there. They will be stopping by your “jump” for me and have already read about some of your climbing history. Thank you for sharing your home and your passion in a way that will always live on. Love, Katie
Posted by Bob Page on June 4, 2020
As I look back to John's passing I realize more than ever that he was a true survivalist of "life", with his multitude of passions for all things earth related. In addition I remember being so very moved by all the lives he impacted with his personality, stories of climbing and compassion for others. I remain very proud to be his brother, and know that Mom is overjoyed to have him with her.
Posted by Bob Page on December 20, 2018
Rest in peace my brother. Give Mom and Dad a hug for me. I am certain there are lots of creeks, rocks and hills to explore.
Posted by Sue Schroeder on September 11, 2016
Thanks for the beautiful tribute to John's life. Seeing his ashes fly away from John's Jump was a moving tribute to his love of the Needles. We will always remember him sitting by the Sylvan Lake Store ready to share his Needles expertise with any visiting climber. --Sue Schroeder and Jim Syverson, Minneapolis, MN
Posted by Joan Vogel on September 9, 2016
The summer of '88 Uncle John showed his nieces Nikki and Katie his favorite places in all the world.  He met us at Wall Drug Store after we left Denver, took us, including our dog Squiggles, to the top of Harney Peak, Sylvan Lake, the Devil's Tower in Wyoming.

We went searching for agates somewhere in the Black Hills, and camped in the state park near Custer. This was some feat because this was also Sturgis week, so campsites were not that plentiful. He brought an army cot for me, so this mom wouldn't need to sleep on the ground. He had coffee ready every morning when we awoke.

He took us to his apartment and showed us how to cut agates and polish them with his equipment.

He showed us how to repel off a large boulder, and even got me to climb the Inner Course spire near Sylvan Lake. This was my first, and last, endeavor at rock climbing. My tennis shoes served me well, since John's shoes wouldn't fit me.

Great memories!

Joan Vogel
Posted by Richard Laptad on September 6, 2016
There are so many wonderful stories to tell about John, what a wonderful character. He was such a fun interesting guy. For me the Hills will never be the same without him. By John.

Leave a Tribute

 
Recent Tributes
Posted by Matthew Smith on February 5, 2021
I sure wish I knew when I visited Custer State park in 2001 That John was my 2nd cousin 2 times removed . We spent the day there in the park and the Koa campground. I saw my First mountain goat there in the park and it was a thrill It was so wild and beautiful . I started researching my Page family history this year and have learned alot about my Kansas branch kin.    John I really wish could have met and talked to you.
Posted by Katie Page on June 5, 2020
John, I recently found out Custer made the short list for a family trip my friend in Chicago was planning. She reached out to me for advice and I lit up with excitement trying to describe how magical Custer is for me and telling her stories of visits with John and the new connections made when he passed. Her girls are about the same age as Nikki and I were for our first trip to Custer. They will be there for a week in July and I’m so excited to hear how they respond to the magic there. They will be stopping by your “jump” for me and have already read about some of your climbing history. Thank you for sharing your home and your passion in a way that will always live on. Love, Katie
Posted by Bob Page on June 4, 2020
As I look back to John's passing I realize more than ever that he was a true survivalist of "life", with his multitude of passions for all things earth related. In addition I remember being so very moved by all the lives he impacted with his personality, stories of climbing and compassion for others. I remain very proud to be his brother, and know that Mom is overjoyed to have him with her.
Recent stories
Shared by Bob Archbold on June 14, 2021
I first met John in around 1975 or 76. He would come to the Needles originally with Dick (Doc) Laptad from Wichita Kansas. Eventually John just stayed up here in the Black Hills. He first would camp out at Paul Muehl place along the highway going west out of Custer. The. He eventually went to Paul’s property on Highway 385 North of Custer. His typical attire was a pair of bib overalls in the summer. 

Summers of 77-80 I was a climbing bum hanging out in the Needles with several other climbers. John would be with us most days along with Paul Muehl. We would climb all day till we got tired. While most of wore shorts or long pants John would alway be in and climb wearing his trademark bib overalls. 

Tourist would always ask us what we were doing, especially if we were climbing near the Needles Eye. It came up by someone to say we were the Pinnacle Repair Team. John the went to a local T-shirt shop and had a bunch of hats made that said Pinnacle Repair Service on them. I don’t know where my hat went from back then but John always had his. 

john always was positive support on a climb. If you were on a scary lead of a climb a d starting to get scared John would calmly talk to you until you got composed again.  It then if you fell off a climb you would need to expect some razing. I should know I got razed by John on many occasion. 

The  Needles Area was lucky to have two John’s. The first was John Raeck who created Poet’s Table. He was also know. Has the Vagabond Poet or Sylvan Lake John. He was a retired farmer from Wisconsin. Then we had John Page.  John’s Jump was named for John Page since he was the first to do it. It was always fun to take some top climbers of the day there and watch them balk at the jump. Going a Ross was the easy part, coming back was the hard part. John, Paul and myself had a lot of laugh at climbers on John’s Jump. 

John took my it upon himself to become the Caretaker of the Needles. Many of us that were climbing bums through the 70’s and 80’s. Now have real jobs. John went to  Black Hills State University to teach economics. He did that for about 10 years and I would still see him in the summers while I would go climbing in the Needles. After Black Hills State University he went to work in construction. These days I didn’t see John as much. 

John would go to special places like Poet’s Table and put a fresh coat of paint on the tables, chairs, and cabinets. He would do this at his own expense. John had a great love for the Needles area and the History of the climbing in the area. When a climber would look lost trying to find a climb John would be their guide and walk them to the base of the climb. He helped a lot of lost climbers. 

I was gone out of the area when I heard of John’s passing. By the time I heard all the Memorials were over. It was a sad day when I heard. First Paul Muehl died, the. Loretta Muehl had a freak accident and died, then John passed. I just recently came across this site and thought I would put my two cents in