Remembering John E. Shuff: Full Obituary

john shuff

John Ellsworth Shuff died on Monday, June 29, in Boca Raton, after complications from surgery. His wife, Margaret Mary Shuff, was by his side—as she has been for the last 57 years.

John Shuff was born April 27, 1940 to John E. and Mary Eagen Shuff in Cincinnati, Ohio, where he spent his childhood. He was graduated from Walnut Hills High School where he was captain of the basketball team. He was graduated from the University of Notre Dame where he studied finance and accounting and was a scratch golfer; he played in the Ohio Amateur Championship golf tournament in 1960. 


Following six months in the United States Coast Guard, he married Margaret Mary Scanlan August 10, 1963, and the couple settled in Cincinnati. John embarked on an illustrious career, first working for Haskins and Sells (now Deloitte & Touche), then Capital Cities/ABC Inc. (now part of Walt Disney Company) where he was business manager for WKBW Radio TV, Buffalo, New York; controller, Fairchild Publications, New York; vice president, Pontiac Press, Birmingham, Michigan; publisher, Belleville News-Democrat, Belleville, Ill. and finally, vice president and CFO, Capital Cities/ABC Inc., New York.  

The small family grew with the addition of David Shuff in 1970 and Molly Shuff in 1975.

Six years after being diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis in 1975, John and Margaret elected to leave the fast pace of life in Manhattan and launch a magazine in what was then the burgeoning city of Boca Raton, and in 1981, started JES Publishing with its flagship magazine, Boca Raton. To date, the magazine has won literally hundreds of awards from the Florida Magazine Association, among others.

In 1989, the Shuffs started another magazine, Salt Lake City, now considered the premier magazine of the Mountainwest. Some 40 years since its inception, JES Media produces several titles in addition to Salt Lake and Boca Raton, including Worth Avenue; Boca Raton Chamber of Commerce Annual; Delray Beach and Mizner’s Dream (for the Boca Raton Resort & Club.)

These magazines, and Boca Raton magazine in particular, were at the core of John’s life; he was passionate about their quality, their integrity, and their service to the community. He was taskmaster and a visionary; he set a new standard of publishing in the state of Florida. Readers will especially miss his longtime “My Turn” columns in which he talked about family, community, friends and life in general. 

Throughout their careers, the Shuffs understood that their business was only as good as the community it served and reflected; active volunteer work and community involvement has been a constant in their mission. John served on the Board of the Boca Raton Community Hospital, the Boca Raton Museum of Art and helped launch the initial Boca Raton Symphony Orchestra. He also served on Mayor Smith’s Private Sector Survey committee and was active throughout the community. The Shuffs and JES Publishing were named Small Business of the Year by the Boca Raton Chamber of Commerce in 1998; received the City of Boca Raton and Lynn University award in 2000 and were named Outstanding Business Leaders by Northwood University in 2003. Margaret Mary was named a Diamond Award winner by the Boca Chamber in 2011. 

The Shuffs have been generous community supporters on a personal basis as well, donating extensively to area charities and institutions, including the Boca Raton Community Hospital, the Kravis Center for the Performing Arts, the Center for the Arts at Mizner Park, St. Andrews School and others.


John is predeceased by his parents and his brother, Dr. Paul Shuff. He is survived by his wife Margaret Mary Shuff, his son David Shuff, his daughter Molly Shuff Rocha (James) and two granddaughters, Chloe and Madelyn as well as his brother, Thomas Shuff (Penny), brother-in-law Dr. James Scanlan (Virginia) and numerous nieces, nephews and cousins.  

Because of COVID precautions, there will be no service at this time, although a celebration of life will be held later. Services are entrusted to Glick Family Funeral Home. Donations may be made in John’s name to the Boca Raton Regional Hospital Foundation, the Multiple Sclerosis Society or the Christine E. Lynn School of Nursing at FAU.