Cover photo for John Martin Huish's Obituary
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1935 John 2021

John Martin Huish

May 28, 1935 — March 30, 2021

John Martin Huish, 85, died peacefully on March 30, 2021 in La Mesa, California. John was born in Berkley, California on May 28, 1935 to Frederick and Mary Bird Huish. He grew up in Berkley with his twin brother, Jim and older brother, Dick.  He served in the United States Army in France. He attended Brigham Young University and remained a loyal, strong and true cougar throughout his life. He traveled from California to Utah for every BYU football game and attended BYU Aspen Grove Family Camp with his family and many friends for over 40 years.

John married his first wife, Lisbeth Sommer Jensen on July 3, 1963 in the Los Angeles Temple. Together they had five children, Shane, Scott, Mike, Tina and Dave. Although their marriage ended, they remained close friends throughout their lives.

John married his sweetheart, Kathy Meyers on August 16, 1986 in San Diego, California. Kathy brought two more children from a previous marriage, Debbie and Dennis into the family. Together John and Kathy adopted three more children, Amber, Ashley and Lisa.

John was the “King of Fun.” Fun was his career and his way of life. In their freshman year at BYU, John and Jim opened their first miniature golf course. This began his 64-year career in the entertainment industry. John and Jim expanded from miniature golf to start “Huish Family Fun Centers” which included arcade games, miniature golf, bumper boats, batting cages and more. After Jim’s passing, John continued the legacy of family fun with the opening of more fun centers and two waterparks (Cowabunga Bay). As his children grew, they became a fundamental part of the business. He put the family in “family fun” by working with his children and making colleagues family.  In 2013, John and Jim were inducted into the Amusement Park Hall of Fame for the development and evolution of family fun centers and their passion and commitment to the industry.

John firmly believed that “happiness is found along the way, not at the end of the road” and found joy in everyday life. John was charitable, loving, kind and compassionate. John was generous in all that he did. He would rather give than receive, unless it was a compliment. John taught others to “be nice and work hard” through his example.  Of his many talents, John was best at bringing people together. John was known for his elaborate birthday parties, hosting “Santa House,” where he invited nearly 17,000 people to his home every year for 16 years to celebrate Christmas, gathering friends, neighbors, and family for breakfast at Denny’s and dinner at Sizzler. With John, nothing was small and everyone was welcomed. He had a unique way of making everyone feel important and loved.

John is survived by his wife, Katherine “Kathy” Huish, his children, Shane (Michael Sage Harper), Scott (Amy), Michael “Mike” (Julie), Kristina “Tina” (Justin) Kargis David “Dave” (Anna), Debbie (Deron) Hunt, Amber (Lenny) Cordero, Ashley and Lisa; 23 grandchildren, and 3 great-grandchildren with one on the way. He was preceded in death by his parents, brother, Richard “Dick”, his twin brother and best friend, James “Jim” and his son, Dennis Jacobson.

John will be missed by his family and the thousands of people whose life he touched.

John “lived a life that was full. . . and more, much more than that, he did it his way.”

Memorial Services for John M. Huish will be held on Wednesday, April 7, 2021 at 2:00pm, PST. The service will be held at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints Stake Center, 15750 Bernardo Heights Parkway San Diego, California 92128. There is a limit of 300 in this building. There will be overflow seating in the LDS church across the street at 15705 Pomerado Road, Poway, California 92064. The building limit is 250. For those in attendance, please adhere to local COVID restrictions. Masks are required. Due to limited capacity, services will be streamed through Zoom.

There will be a private graveside service in Springville, UT. For more information on the Zoom link and memorial services, please visit the “John Martin Huish Memorial Page” on Facebook or the Mortuary Website,

In lieu of flowers, we ask that you kindly make a donation to Give Kids the World in John’s name.

To send flowers to the family in memory of John Martin Huish, please visit our flower store.


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