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John Hynal


John Steven Hynal was born on May 25, 1945, in Providence, Rhode Island. He passed away on March 13, 2024, at the age of 78. He is survived by his partner of 52 years, Peggy Haynes; his son, Damon Hynal, and grandsons, Jordan Haynes, Jade Hynal, and Cameron Haynes and great-grandson, Adrian Haynes. He is also survived by his sisters, Debbie Gillotti and Toni Smith.

John grew up near Hackettstown, NJ, and in Madeira Beach, FL. John spent time with his mother, Helen, in New Jersey and with his father, John Sr., in Madeira Beach throughout his childhood. When he was a teenager, John lived on a dairy farm in New Jersey for several years. It was there that he learned the value of having a good work ethic and gained a deep admiration for farmers.

He joined the US Navy in May of 1962 and served until July of 1966 on the USS Douglas H. Fox, an Allen M. Sumner class destroyer. John was very proud of his service and often wore a Navy Veteran cap in his later years, and he enjoyed helping other Veterans as a volunteer for Operation Eco Vets.

After leaving the Navy, he lived in the Washington D.C. area and in and around Canal Fulton, Ohio. He returned to Florida in 1971 and met his future wife, Peggy in December of 1971 at the Pelican Diner on St. Pete Beach, where she worked as a waitress. He immediately fell in love with her 2-year-old son, Michael, and quickly took on the role of a devoted dad. John and Peggy's son, Damon was born on January 4, 1973, in Orlando. John adored his sons and they both held a place in his heart that he didn't know existed until they came into his life.

Soon after Damon was born, the little family of four headed out on a cross-country trip that took them from Orlando to Oregon in a homemade pop-up camper. Becoming enamored with the mountainous beauty of Colorado, they headed there to live in the "shadow of Pikes Peak". They lived in Colorado in 1973-74 and in 1976-79 and then returned to Florida permanently for the next 44 years.

In the 1970's John took up photography and it soon became much more than a hobby. He was the owner of the Great Rocky Mountain Tintype Company located first in Cripple Creek and then in Manitou Springs, Colorado.

When John and his family returned to Peggy's hometown of St. Petersburg in 1979, he transferred his skills of developing tintypes and ambrotypes to developing and printing photographs at RoMo Color Labs.

After he and his family moved to Bradenton in 1981, John soon went to work at Norton's Camera and Video, where he became an expert in the field of camera equipment and a photography instructor. John stayed on when Norton's was sold to Wolf Camera, but eventually moved to Johnson Photo Imaging until he retired in 2007. He was also a freelance events photographer for many years.

After retiring, he taught photography to both adults and children at ArtCenter Manatee for about 10 years. He truly loved teaching. His favorite students were 11 to 15 years old, known at the ArtCenter as Emerging Artists.

John's last gig was working with Peg at the Bradenton Farmers' Market in downtown Bradenton from 2014 to 2020. They both loved being a part of the Realize Bradenton team.

John was also an avid sailor. He and Peg had a 22' Chrysler sloop named "Elan" from 1987 to 2004 and could often be found sailing at sunset on weekdays on Sarasota Bay and headed for points north or south via the Gulf of Mexico on the weekends.

In 2004, they purchased a Pearson 365 Ketch and moved aboard. They lived aboard "Aquila" for the better part of 10 years and sailed the waters of Florida, including the Keys, the southeastern coast, the Caloosahatchee River, Lake Okeechobee, and of course the west coast of Florida. It was a good life!

A Celebration of Life was held on Saturday, April 13, 2024. Brown & Sons Funeral Homes & Crematory 43rd Street Chapel, 604 43rd Street West, Bradenton, FL 34209, is in charge of arrangements.

Donations may be made to Realize Bradenton (https://www.realizebradenton.com).