John Davies Hallett

6 entries
  • "Joyce, I am so sorry !! Throughout our lives John and I..."
  • "A great sailor!"
    - Jim Simmons
  • "Joyce and Family, Just learned today thru Celeste and..."
  • "Such a sweet man! He was a legend in Harbour Town. Prayers..."
    - Jan Loos
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John Davies Hallett was born July 29, 1934 in Honolulu, Territory of Hawaii. He passed away on February 28, 2016 in Conroe, Texas at the age of 81 years. While John's family and friends miss him immensely, they collectively choose to focus on celebrating his life and his achievements more than mourning his loss. His dry wit, easy smile, hearty laugh, and genuine warmth were his trademarks. His was a life well lived, a family well loved, and time with friends well spent. John packed a lot of living into the years he was with us.

John D Hallett married Joyce Joanne Simmer Hallett on September 4, 1970, beginning forty-five wonderful and loving years together. They lived in several cities around the country, but most of their time was spent in Houston and in the Conroe area. John and Joyce called our part of the country home, and we were all fortunate to have them as neighbors and friends.

The son of Doctor Harley James Hallett, Colonel, United States Army Medical Corps, and Helen Madeline Bortree Hallett, John participated in the Boy Scouts of America throughout his boyhood, becoming an Eagle Scout in 1948. After his family moved to Florida, he went to Lake Wales High School beginning in 1948. John enjoyed playing baseball, softball, football, tennis and swimming as a teenager. He was also a leader, whether playing baritone saxophone in the high school band or in Honor Society for academics. John was also the President of the Junior Red Cross Council and an Assistant Scoutmaster. Even as a teenager John was giving back and helping others. Somehow he found time to indulge his photography and chemistry hobbies as well. Part-time jobs as a filling station attendant and plumber's helper kept John busy. John graduated from Lake Wales High School with Honors in 1952, and set his sights on his next challenge.

University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill was John's home for the next four years. John's college education coincided with the start of John's exemplary service to our country. John enrolled as a Midshipman in the Navy Reserve Officer Training Corps (NROTC) at North Carolina as a freshman. John made the Dean's List several times and played in the Battalion Drum and Bugle Corps. His command responsibilities as a Midshipman leader continued to expand, earning him Outstanding Midshipman Student honors by his senior year. John graduated from University of North Carolina with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Chemistry in 1956. Ensign John D Hallett was also commissioned in the United States Navy Reserve in June 1956.

John's initial two-year active duty commitment began as a student Naval Aviator at Naval Air Station Pensacola in 1956. First he attended pre-flight school. He then he flew T-34B trainers in Primary flight training at Naval Auxiliary Air Station Saufley Field, and then flew SNJ-5 trainers in Basic flight training at Naval Auxiliary Air Station Corry Field. Although John was an outstanding student naval aviator, he chose to become a surface line officer rather than accept a mandatory extension of his active duty commitment in order to remain a student naval aviator. John completed his active duty commitment in 1958.

And so began a career with two distinct but similar tracks. John began work with Shell Oil as a quality control chemist in 1958, while continuing his Naval Reserve service. John's yearly active duty training saw him spend time aboard nearly every type of naval ship, from minesweepers and patrol craft to aircraft carriers. His Navy personnel jacket was brimming with letters of commendation, which earned him regular promotions and commands over a twenty year career in the Naval Reserve- all while he was steadily advancing his career and doing important work protecting the environment and ensuring occupational safety and health at Shell. John's twenty years of dedicated service to our country ended when he retired from the Naval Reserve as a full Commander in 1976. John's career with Shell spanned thirty two years and included membership in and leadership of the American Petroleum Institute's Environmental Affairs Department for many of those years. After leaving Shell in 1991, John consulted with Murphy Oil for another two years, again focused on occupational safety and the environment. When John finally retired from Murphy Oil in 1993, he had spent thirty four years working to keep our environment, and the workforce, safe.

Although he had first taken up the sport of sailing in 1976, retirement allowed him to enjoy even more time on the water with his family and many friends. Over forty years in sailing he owned several sailboats, competed in countless regattas over the years, and won more than his share of them. Serving as Commodore of the Lake Conroe Racing and Cruising Association from 1980 to 1982 and as Race Committee Chairman for five years, John made many friends on the water, racing or cruising, and in the clubhouse after the boats were tied up. John was also an ambassador for the sport, introducing sailing to a wide variety of former land-lubbers and conflicted power boaters. A fittingly respectful tribute from the crew members, friends, and competitors who knew him and sailed with him is the honorary title of "Admiral" Hallett, first bestowed upon him in the British Virgin Islands- his favorite place on earth and regular vacation spot for over a decade later in life. No sailor who ever spent time with The Admiral on the water came away not wanting to sail with him again.

John is survived by his wife Joyce Joanne Simmer Hallett, son Mark Coats and his wife Carol, son John D "Skip" Hallett Jr., daughter Lee Ann Hallett, daughter Lisa Proud and her husband Russell, and son Michael Hallett and his wife Tamara.

John's grandchildren are Danielle Knight, Michael Ryan Young and his wife Stacy, Jonathan Figliola and his wife Kindle, Brittany West and her husband Alan, Travis Hallett, Kaycee Mikeska and her husband Keith, Brock Hallett, Chase Hallett, and Bailey Hallett.

John was also great-grandfather to eight great-grandchildren.

It was John's wish that his remains be cremated and his ashes spread over Sir Frances Drake Channel in the British Virgin Islands by his family. John Davies Hallett is gone now, but his service, commitment, and friendships will never be forgotten. Truly well-lived lives are like that.

A celebration of the life of John Davies Hallett will take place on April 9, 2016, beginning at 12:00 noon at Heather's Glen, 200 East Phillips Street, in Conroe, Texas, 77

Published on from Mar. 3 to Mar. 16, 2016
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