Cover photo for John Ovington's Obituary
John Ovington Profile Photo

John Ovington

November 28, 1963 — May 28, 2024


John Ovington

John Harold Ovington, 60, of Bellaire, MI, passed away on May 28, 2024. He was born on November 28, 1963, in Detroit, MI, the son of Harold and Sheila (Liimatta) Ovington. John is survived by his mother, sisters Barbara (George) Butters, Julie (Blake) Westhoff, and his brother Tim (Lori) Ovington. He also leaves behind 8 nieces and nephews who he adored – Daniel, Jessica, Kelly, Nick, Lauren, Christopher, Sarah, and Alexa. Never married and without children, John’s two ‘boys’ were his much-loved dogs Rocky and Finn.

“Johnny O” was a larger-than-life figure that was dearly loved by his family, friends, business colleagues, and just about everyone he met. His booming voice and laugh were infectious. He leaves behind a wonderful legacy of kindness, generosity, and being of service to others. He was constantly on the lookout for those who were struggling, making an unbelievable positive impact on many lives – both young and old. He was a mentor, guide, encourager, and teacher to many. He loved God, history, and great movies. He relished having the entire extended family up every year to his lakefront Clam Lake home in Northern Michigan and taking everyone out on his boat to the Torch Lake Sandbar.

After graduating from Livonia (MI) Stevenson High School in 1982, he first attended Western Michigan University and then transferred to St. Louis University where he earned a degree in accounting. He then embarked on a very successful commercial real estate career beginning in St. Louis, where he honed his craft at Leo Eisenberg Company, Midland Development Group, Regency Realty Services, and Midland Atlantic Properties. In 1999 he broke out on his own and formed the TBO Development Company in Michigan. Always thinking and dreaming ‘BIG’, he helped put the city of Gaylord, MI on the map after bringing Walmart, Lowes, Aldi, and other large retailers to town back in the early 2000’s to anchor his two major shopping center developments.

John will be greatly missed, but his legacy and our wonderful memories of him will live on. “Well done, my good and faithful servant…”

“What you leave behind is not what is engraved in stone monuments but what is woven into the lives of others.” —THUCYDIDES

A Celebration of Life for John is being planned and more information will be available from the family soon. Arrangements are in the care of the Bellaire Chapel of Mortensen Funeral Homes. Sign his online guestbook at

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of John Ovington, please visit our flower store.


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