Cover photo for John McMurray Webster's Obituary
John McMurray Webster Profile Photo
1951 John 2024

John McMurray Webster

February 3, 1951 — May 3, 2024


John McMurray Webster passed away on Friday, May 3, 2024. He was born on February 3, 1951 in Warren, Ohio to Morgan and Wilma (Bacon) Webster.

John was well-known in the regional wine industry for his love and knowledge of wines, sharing his finds with friends that he gathered with regularly for more than 40 years. He wrote “The Wine Guy” column for The Metro Monthly for nearly 20 years, meeting many new friends along the way.

A 1969 graduate of Warren G. Harding High School, John earned a bachelor’s degree in English education from Kent State University. He had an incredible work ethic and was employed by Republic Steel and its successors for 37 years. While still in school, he worked at Mickey’s Army and Navy in Warren.

His love of wine began in college, and he acquired much of his learning through visits to Alberini’s in Niles, gleaning knowledge from Richard Alberini and his famous wine cellar, as well as local wine merchants. John loved to read, and subsequently had an encyclopedic knowledge of history, especially the history of wines and vineyards worldwide.

He loved classic rock and blues and enjoyed attending numerous concerts throughout his life. He was present for many of the touchstones of his generation – from joyous at Woodstock to sorrowful at the Kent State shooting. At a Peter Yarrow (of Peter, Paul and Mary) concert taking place in Kent on May 4, Peter dedicated a song to John after meeting him at intermission, as he was so moved by John’s tearful recollection of the student shootings.

In his younger years, John loved taking his son camping and traveling around the country to visit national parks and other nature preserves. John enjoyed athletics, including playing baseball and boxing. He loved all animals and enjoyed daily rides to see what was blooming in parks and people’s yards, with favorite places being Mill Creek Park, Amish country in New Wilmington, the bald eagles at Pine Lake, and the sights of Mosquito Lake and Lake Erie.

John leaves his son, Christian (Starla) of Edgewater, Florida; his companion of 20 years, Mary Soldo; and many good friends. Fiercely loyal to those he loved, John will be remembered for his booming voice, easy laugh, and concern for others, always ready to do a favor or lend a hand. His life will be celebrated by friends and family at a private gathering.

Arrangements entrusted to Davidson-Becker Funeral Home, Struthers.

Online condolences may be made at

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