John Charles Scruggs, a Paiute elder with the Fort Independence Indian Reservation in California passed away on September 14, 2023, from a prolonged lung disorder at the age of 81. He led an extremely full life. Among other things, John was one of three original members that took over the Palmdale Truck Drags for the Crippled Children’s Society in the 1980s, which later became the Truckin’ For Kids Truck Drags and Show & Shine (TFK). Born on October 5, 1941, in Los Angeles, John lived in Tujunga, CA until he was 14, when he went to live with his mother in Independence, CA. After high school John joined the United States Air Force in 1959 and served in South Korea. Later he served at Beale AFB in California and left the Air Force as a warehouseman where his skills served him well when he joined the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) in 1967. During his nearly 30-year career with LADWP, John worked on the Los Angeles aqueduct and multiple other locations up and down Southern California. One of his most outstanding achievements was helping to construct a power station in Sylmar, CA where he worked as an expediter for construction crews. While working with LADWP, John took the opportunity to explore his love for trucking. He worked for Apex Bulk Commodities and hauled various loads in Southern California. He was proud to have driven with the company for 15 years while earning several Safe Driver Awards with zero driving incidents. But his love of trucks didn’t stop there. Partnering with Frank and Dianna Pangburn to develop and work on the long and successful 40+ year run of the TFK charity truck show, he helped raise over $500,000 for various children’s charities. His love of trucks kept him busy and engaged after his wife Deloris of 40 years passed away in 2011. Active in the local community, John loved his Native American culture and tribe. He served as Secretary for the Fort Independence Indian Reservation tribal council for 4 years. He also represented the tribe for several years at events such as a Big Horn Sheep capture and release where he served as a spiritual guide for the sheep and group performing work to track the spread of pneumonia within the herd. After the passing of his wife, John spent weeks at a time on the road traveling to visit his grand and great-grandchildren in Montana, Oregon, Idaho, and Arizona. If he wasn’t going on a cruise or enjoying his other passion of taking train rides, you could find him playing keno in Vegas or planning his next trip to visit family. John really enjoyed life and was a “rock” for his entire family. He survived cancer twice – his mother was 98 years old when she passed and his grandfather was 95 – all other things equal, he should have lived another 15 years. He will be missed by his Paiute community, all of his friends and family, and all of us at Truckin’ For Kids. John Scruggs faced death head on and never complained of his condition once! He was a dear friend to TFK that is gone but will not be forgotten.
Daniel J. Linss - Editor/Owner
Daniel J. Linss has been with 10-4 Magazine since the beginning in September of 1993 and has been the Editor and Art Director since March of 1994. Over the years, he has also become an owner and one of the main photographers for 10-4 and is well-known for his insightful cover feature articles and honest show reports. Married for over 30 years with three grown children, Daniel produces 10-4 Magazine each and every month from his office in Central California.