John Hazeltine

John Carton Hazeltine was born Aug. 14, 1931, in the Black Hills near Custer, S.D., to Byron and Beatrice Wealthy (Carton) Hazeltine, the fifth of six children. John graduated from Custer High School in 1949 and attended South Dakota State University for a semester.
He was a 30-year veteran of the U.S. Navy, serving most of his career in Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD). John retired in 1982 as the first Master Blaster, recognizing him as the Navy’s senior EOD Master Chief.
John met Margaret Constance Naccarato at a wedding in Los Angeles, Calif., and they married Oct. 8, 1955, in L.A. They were together for 40 years until the untimely death of Margaret in 1995 at age 58. He then met Rose Marie Tipton while volunteering at the Channel Islands Maritime Museum and they married in 2004. She died in 2019.
John was a 10th generation Hazeltine in America, directly descending from Robert Heseltine, who arrived in the Massachusetts Bay Colony in 1638 aboard the John of London as part of Rev. Ezekiel Rogers’ party of Puritans.
John joined the U.S. Navy in 1952 after deciding college life was not for him. He started as an Aviation Ordnanceman and by 1954 had joined Explosive Ordnance Disposal, where he would spend the rest of his career.
He attained a Secret Security Clearance due to his work with explosives, including nuclear and conventional missile systems. He was a Master Diver, Second Class. His service included duty in Vietnam, where he was awarded the Navy Corps Commendation Medal with stars and V pin signifying valor. Among his other citations were the Navy Achievement Medal, Combat Action Medal, the Navy Unit Commendation and Navy Meritorious Unit Commendation with three stars.
One of the many interesting assignments during his career, many that were then classified, included Project Azorian, where he was among divers to reach a Soviet submarine that sank 1968 and was recovered by Howard Hughes’ Glomar Explorer in a then-highly secret mission in 1974. The sub included two nuclear-tipped missiles.  
After retiring from the U.S. Navy in 1982 John worked for a defense contractor at the Ready Missile Test Facility at Pt. Mugu, Calif., where he soon became site manager, responsible for nine major Navy and Air Force missile programs. He was well respected throughout the base and the test and evaluation community.
After his retirement in 1997 John was a longtime docent at the Channel Islands Maritime Museum and a social member of the Channel Islands Yacht Club.  
John died Dec. 19, 2022 in Camarillo, Calif., from complications due to a stroke. He was 91.
In addition to Margaret and Rose, he was preceded in death by his sister, Wealthy Ann Ritger; and brothers, Byron, Stillman, Douglas and David.
John is survived by his sons, Rick (Sandy) of Cottage Grove, Ore., and Tim (Scott) and Jerry, both of Camarillo; two grandchildren, Spencer Hazeltine of Portland, Ore., and Yvette Hazeltine of Camarillo; and sister-in-law Antoinette (Naccarato) Harris of Hemet, Calif.
Per his request, John was cremated and his ashes will be spread at sea.

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