John was born in Detroit, Michigan, on December 11, 1949, to Leonard and Ila (Chilson) Borthwick and then spent his youth in Oberlin, Kansas where he lived with his family until 1965. He and his family then moved to Fort Collins, Colorado, where he graduated from Fort Collins High School.
John then enlisted in the Army in November 1969 where he proudly served his beloved country in the Vietnam War for one tour of duty. He discovered his knack for electrical wiring during his service to avoid guard duty. John was a true patriot and was proud of his service to his country.
Upon his return from Vietnam, he met his wife Barbie (Barbara) Edwards in Reno Junction, Wyoming. After returning to Army duty, the two continued to write love letters and recorded cassette tapes until being married on September 6, 1971, at the church St. Francis on the Prairie south of Wright.
After being married, John was stationed in Fort Stewart, Georgia where the newlyweds began their lives together. After being honorably discharged from the Army in August 1972, the couple returned to Wyoming where John worked for the City of Gillette.
The couple had their first son, Michael Shawn, on February, 3, 1973, in Buffalo, Wyoming. The couple was blessed three years later with a second son Jason Allen on May, 15, 1976, in Gillette.
The Borthwicks moved to Moorcroft, Wyoming, in the spring of 1976 where he began working as a coal miner at Eagle Butte. John spent the next 37 years working various jobs at the mine. Upon his retirement in December 2013, he was working as a shovel operator, where he was continuously harassing and ribbing the other workers over the radio. Despite the shift work, John truly loved the work and the people that he experienced during his time at the coal mines.
John served on the Moorcroft Volunteer Fire Department for several years. He also served as a Boy Scout leader. Barb and John both were active members of the Presbyterian Church in Moorcroft and spent time volunteering at Camp Story.
One of John’s passions was electrical work, where he spent much time fixing and installing wiring for many individuals.
In his down time, John enjoyed spending time his boys and grandkids, riding or fixing motorcycles, fixing things the McGyver way, especially his hot tub, watching westerns and America’s Funniest Home Videos on television, and helping anyone and everyone. John was not a stranger to anyone.
John is survived by his wife, Barb; son Michael and wife Mary, grandson Gene and grand-daughter Clara of Gillette; son Jason and wife Mona and grand-daughter Gabrielle of Brandon, Florida; brother Bill Borthwick of Gillette and sister Mary Workman and husband Jeff of Devils Tower, Wyoming; also numerous cousins, nieces, nephews, in-laws and friends that will miss him dearly.
John was preceded in death by his parents, Leonard and Ila Borthwick; infant daughter, Mary Anne Borthwick; brother, Robert Borthwick and sister-in-law, Diana Borthwick.
Services will be held at the Moorcroft Presbyterian Church on Saturday June, 24 2017, at 1 p.m. A memorial has been established for the Moorcroft VFW.