A former Marina del Rey resident who penned several novels while living at a homeless shelter and struggling to recover from drug and alcohol addiction, author John Stover died May 3 at his single room occupancy apartment in downtown Los Angeles.
A celebration of Stover’s life is set for Sunday — what would have been Stover’s 64th birthday — at the Santa Monica Windjammer Yacht Club in Marina del Rey.
Earlier this year, Stover completed his “Love Rescue Me” trilogy of quasi-autobiographical adventure novels, which he wrote two hours at a time on Los Angeles Central Library computers while living otut of downtown’s Midnight Mission. He signed his latest novel on April 10 at Book Soup and had been set to participate in a library panel on homelessness in August.
Stover struggled with addictions to heroin, pharmaceuticals and alcohol for much of his adult life and relapsed hard after a debilitating surfing accident, he explained during an April interview about his books.
Prior to that he had operated a clothing business and had donated some of its profits to the Midnight Mission.
While homeless in 2012 and early 2013, Stover was resuscitated three times after overdosing on drugs but by early 2014 had been clean and sober for months, his adult daughter Katy Stover said.
“He was the comeback kid. He was doing very well,” said Stover, 23 and a teacher in Washington, D.C.
Stover said neighbors and others who regularly interacted with her father believe he remained sober until the day he died, when authorities discovered an empty bottle of vodka in his apartment that Stover believes her father had used for pain management.
“That Saturday he woke up in a lot of pain and told his neighbor about it,” she said. “Pain meds had been what relapsed him the last time so he was afraid to take them. A lot of times he didn’t go to the doctor [for prescriptions] because he didn’t want to take the risk.”
Stover isn’t sure whether it was one last drink that killed her father, but knows that he had been told that his fragile body could no longer handle alcohol and other substances. An autopsy was not preformed.
Friends and family will scatter Stover’s ashes in Santa Monica Bay on May 31.
The Saturday memorial is intended to be a “joyous occasion,” said Stover. “That’s what my dad would have wanted. That, and for people to read his books.”
The memorial service takes place from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at Santa Monica Windjammer Yacht Club, 13589 Mindanao Way. Call (818) 577-7655 for information.
— Joe Piasecki