John Alec Preece passed away Jan. 19, 2021, in Demorest.
Born Jan. 21, 1948, in Washington, D.C., he was the son of the late Helen R. Preece and Dr. Alec A. Preece. In addition to his parents, John was pre-deceased by his beloved wife, Susan Barber Preece.
John graduated from Piedmont College and enjoyed an accomplished theater career as an actor and director for over 40 years. Most famously, he played both Tevye and Lazar Wolf in 10 national tours across the U.S. and Canada (over 3,400 shows) of the National Touring Company's Fiddler on the Roof. Other roles include Don Quixote (Man of La Mancha), Daddy Warbucks (Annie), and Ben Franklin (1776).
John was the vice president of Productions at the Habersham Community Theater (HCT) in Clarkesville and had served on the Board of Directors since 2017. While at HCT, John directed many productions including Fiddler on the Roof, Oliver!, I Do! I Do!, The Sound of Music, and Amahl and the Night Visitors, all to rave reviews. Of his time at HCT, John said, "While professional theater has been my career, I am thrilled that I now get to enjoy community theater here at HCT...My career is now complete; thank you, HCT!"
Offstage, John was a self-taught gourmet cook, former restaurateur, lover of scotch, and a generous, caring man, as witnessed by the many friends who memorialized his life with over 100 comments on his Facebook page. He will be greatly missed.
He is survived by his brothers, Michael S. Northrop (Susie Northrop), and Robert L. Northrop (Betsy Northrop), all of Williamsburg, Virginia; cousins, Tom Waldo, John Waldo, and Pam Waldo Wich, all of south Florida; as well as two nephews, three nieces, and nine great-nephews and great-nieces.
A celebration of John's life will be held at a future date.