Winter 2018–2019

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Distinguished Residents: John J. Belliveau

Extensive travel for this Palos Verdes resident made for a life well lived.


John J. Belliveau

Palos Verdes Senior Living Peoria, Arizona


When John was 16, he lied about his age and joined the National Guard. Later when he was 18, he joined the Air Force and worked in aircraft maintenance. “Serving my country was the best experience,” John says. “I learned discipline, management and leadership. All of which helped me be successful in the future.”

After the Air Force, John worked in employee recruiting and eventually started his own executive recruiting company with offices throughout the U.S. 

Looking for some relaxation after 25 years in the business, he bought a boat. “I went fishing and the next thing I knew, I was running my own yacht management agency,” he says. “I felt like I never worked a day in my life.”

He always lived by the golden rule: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. “In my older age, I lived by the words, ‘It’s not how many breaths you take, it’s how many things take your breath away,’” John says.

When he was 65, his wife told him to make a bucket list of the places he wanted to go. Then she gave him a choice: wait five years and retire, then start on the list, or start the list now and in five years go back to work again. He decided not to wait. “I traveled all over — Peru, Egypt, Israel, Greece and China,” Johns says. “Anywhere that had something to see, I went and saw it. The feeling and emotion in the places I’ve visited was something unexplainable.”

John has lived in Arizona for 12 years and recently moved to Palos Verdes Senior Living in Peoria.

“I love it at Palos Verdes,” he says. “I am very comfortable with my apartment. I’ve helped start up bridge in the community and enjoy playing poker.”