Remembering John Little

John Little Headshot

Carnegie Mellon University’s School of Design was truly saddened to hear of the passing of alumnus John Little (1956) this past November. John was an incredibly accomplished product designer who was hired by the Ford Motor Company right out of his senior year at CMU. John’s work could be seen all throughout the

 automotive industry and his presence and expertise will truly be missed. Below is John’s obituary, courtesy of his daughter, Laura Little. 

Heaven came to our home on November 15, 2022 for a man beyond compare in the earthly form of an adoring husband and father. 

John and his precious wife Patricia met during a blind date. Their love was immediate and turned 64 special anniversaries this past October 25th, 2022. 

An incredible artistic Father to only child Laura lead to an entire life of creating art together both as a pleasure and profession. 

John held three amazing careers, first having Ford Motor Company visit and hand select him from Carnegie Mellon in Pittsburgh, PA. where he was born. 

John Little work

He had 30 years in Dearborn, MI. with Ford as an Industrial Designer working on interiors of Mustang, Thunderbird, and Lincoln in the 60's, 70's, and 80's. 

Briefly in the early 1960's he designed stunning yachts for Chris Craft in Pompano Beach, FL. in 1963 and 1964. 

Then back at Ford in MI. John won a 25 foot boat in a contest. 

Next, he designed Ford New Holland Tractors while positioned in Lancaster, PA. He was a major part of today's organic style of the Ford New Holland tractor line. John also traveled extensively in Europe for tractor design. 

He retired at age 57 after 32 years of highly creative, and powerful design work filled with ingenuity in automobiles, yachts, and tractors. 

He enjoyed 30 years of retirement with his wife while living in several southern locations. The last 24 years residing in beautiful Charlottesville, VA. 

John passed in his home with HOSPICE after fighting several serious health issues. His wife and daughter were at his bedside along with their minister who prayed over John saying, "Oh Jack, what a beautiful life you have lived." 

Below are a few works from the education and career of John Little.

John Little Door


John Little Tractor
John Little Car
John Little Seat