John Schuyler Havens

John Schuyler Havens

January 6, 1931 – July 15, 2020

Havens, John


John Havens was born in Globe, Arizona and grew up in Gallup, New Mexico. His mother Beatrice Havens was a teacher and administrator in the Gallup schools. His father O.C. Havens was a businessman and a noted photographer. John graduated from the University of New Mexico with degrees in geology and art. He served aboard an airplane carrier as a Navy photographer during the Korean War.

A hydrologist with United States Geological Survey for nearly 42 years, he had many duties culminating as a Reports Specialist with authorship or co authorship of 35 reports. He received a Superior Service Award from the Department of Interior in 1991. He and his colleagues, family and friends celebrated his 1995 retirement with a picnic in the back yard and in November of that year, a luncheon at Portobello Restaurant in Oklahoma City.

As an artist, John was interested in and tried his hand at several art forms including ceramics, sculpture, serigraphs, acrylic and oil painting, and marble paper. He concentrated on creating watercolors and exhibited as a guest artist at the Penn Square Gallery. He was a member of the Edmond Art Association for many years and participated in its annual shows and activities frequently wining a prize ribbon. John was the “in-house artist” for his music teacher wife during the entirety of her more than 25 years in the classroom. He enjoyed creating a Christmas card for friends and relatives every year. The last Havens original was sent the holiday season of 2019.

John and Judith Marilla Clingo married June 9,1961 in Lovington, New Mexico. Their son was born in Lovington, and their daughter in Carlsbad, New Mexico. They moved to Oklahoma on 1970. They celebrated their 59th anniversary apart because of the 2020 Covid-19 pandemic. Their immediate family is son Patrick Lewis Havens and spouse Danielle Comby, daughter Eleanor Carol Havens and spouse William Blumberg, and granddaughter Marilla Danielle Havens. He is Godparent to cousin Tim Vidal and great nephew Jackson Powers. He has several cousins including Shirley Newcomb of Gallup who considered John her “little brother.”

John and Judy enjoyed trips to National Parks and Monuments in the western United States including Glacier Park, the Grand Canyon, Mesa Verde, and Carlsbad Caverns. One of their most memorable park experiences was the celebration, with their family, of their 50th wedding anniversary at Yellowstone and the Grand Tetons.

In December 2004, they had a long anticipated trip to England for the Christmas Eve celebration of Nine Lessons and Carols at Kings College Chapel in Cambridge. They toured the sights in London spending many hours the V & A museum and the National Gallery. At Westminster Abbey they were fortunate to attend Evensong service.

The Havens family, ardent concertgoers for many years, reveled in performances of the Symphony, Chamber Music In Oklahoma, Brightmusic Chamber Ensemble, and various music festivals. John was a collector and accumulated many recordings, ranging from ragtime to classical, beginning in the days of 45’s and 78’s to cassette tapes and CD’s. His collection of pop sheet music began with songs , from 1900.

John and Judy worshiped at Westminster Presbyterian Church of Oklahoma City for several years. John served as Deacon, sang in the choir and played the carillon on occasion. John was confirmed at All Souls’ Episcopal Church OKC in 2007 where he sang in the choir. Music selected for All Souls’ annual service of Nine Lessons and Carols oftentimes served as inspiration for his Christmas cards.

There will be no funeral service until such time as clergy, choir, family, and friends can gather together in once place. There will be a prayer service of interment attended by the immediate family at All Souls’ Episcopal Church in Oklahoma City. Memorials in memory of John Havens may be given to the Music Ministries of All Souls’ Episcopal Church or the National Parks Foundation. (

6 thoughts on “John Schuyler Havens”

  1. Harry and Sherie Adams

    We spent many good trips with John and Judy on Westminster Choir tours and will miss seeing him. A side note is that John had a small bamboo plant in his yard that stays small but very aggressive. We have a pond and garden and John offered to give us a start of his bamboo, saying that it was a “little aggressive”. We now have it in every nook and cranny of our backyard! I will always think fondly of John when I look at it and my yard man spends hours cutting it back every fall! Our condolences are offered to Judy and the family.

  2. Charles and Kathy Bullock

    So sad to here of Jon’s passing, we enjoyed conversations and Jon’s knowledge on many subjects.
    RIP-Jon, may you enjoy the Parks in heaven.

  3. Bob and Teresa Tortorelli

    Our prayers go out to Judy and John’s family. I had the great pleasure of being John’s friend and co-worker at US Geological Survey for many years.
    He was a very talented artist who enriched our lives. Our Home is adorned with several of John’s beautiful Southwestern prints, which is the first thing I put put up in our new home when I retired. We have saved every on of his inspirational Christmas Cards we have have been blessed to receive.
    He not only was a prolific author of scientific reports, John had a mischievous sense of humor. As I type this I look up at the caricature he penned of me and “Rocco Rabbit”.
    We will miss him and I will raise a toast to him with a Bass beer.
    PS – John, please forgive my atrocious diction – send me a corrected copy. You edited my first “perfect” report and returned it to me looking like “a chicken was sacrificed” over my first draft!!


    Sorry Judy and family, my hand got mixed when I wrote the first note, please change the spelling of John’s name to John.

  5. I had an office two doors down from John. One day he went walking by my window outside. I watched as he drew eyes and faces on a ring of white toad stools outside his office window. The two smallest ones he left blank, as if they were babies. They looked just like the toad stools in Disney’s cartoon. Beautiful art that had a period of maybe three days.

    He was a very nice person. I will miss him very much.

  6. I think of John just walking around the house because we have three pieces of his art that I enjoy every day.

    A significant scientific finding of John was describing the process of recharge to the High Plains Aquifer through runoff to playas in eastern New Mexico. (Havens, J. S., 1966, Recharge studies on the High Plains in northern Lea County, New Mexico: U.S. Geological Survey Water-Supply Paper 1819-F, 52 p.) He also modeled aquifers in Oklahoma before taking on the sometimes thankless job of reports specialist.

    John had a way of adhering to the strict USGS rules without stressing out the authors. There wasn’t the usual squawking, maybe because we all liked John as a person, maybe because he would enhance our reports with his hand drawn illustrations for the covers.

    When Darrell Walters suggested taking all of John’s past illustrations and inserting them in the two volumes of the annual streamflow report, we were amazed that there were more than four dozen images of sites in Oklahoma.
    Gosh, I can think of several stories about John that bring me a smile, like Rocco the Rabbit, John’s post-lunch naps in his chair (which alarmed his co-workers when he was on a detail in Wyoming), and a naughty piece of hidden cover art that he sent to tease the Regional Report Specialist.

    John brought a lot of good things to our lives. My sincere sympathies to Judy, Ellie, Pat, and all who loved John.

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