Danville, Virginia


Send Flowers

John (Jack) William Estlow Jr.

John (Jack) William Estlow Jr. passed away on July 27, 2010 at the age of 85 after a two year battle with cancer. He was born on May 30, 1925, son of John William Estlow Sr. and Nina McAdams Estlow.

He was a resident of Danville, Virginia all of his life and married his high school sweetheart Anne Ruth Hawkins in 1944. She predeceased him in 2006.

He was a 1942 Graduate of Schoolfield High School, where he developed his love for music and won 1st place in both State and National Championships for a trumpet solo in 1939. He was a charter member of the Danville Drum and Bugle Corp and was a trumpeter and drum major. He then taught the drum corp for a number of years after graduating high school.

He joined West Main Baptist Church in March, 1970 and was a dedicated member and deacon until his decline in health.

Jack was honored in 2007 for his 70+ years of volunteering his talent by playing taps for veterans' funerals, Memorial Day services etc. through the local American Legion. Though he was unable to serve in the military, this was his patriotic honor to those who served and was made an honorary member of Post 1097 for his contributions. He was inducted into the Buglers' Hall of Fame of America in 2007.

Jack's first job was ushering at the Lea Theater and branched out to be the projectionist at many theaters in Danville. He served as President of the Theater Union. He was the owner of The Cycle Center for BSA, Ariel, Sunbeam Motorcycles from 1953-57. He worked at Dan River Mills for 23 years, progressing from worker to supervisor. The last 10 years of employment, he was a Virginia State Magistrate in Danville. He was a true example of a man who worked to live and enjoy life.

Jack had many areas of interest and approached each with a real zest, dedication and sense of humor. Jack nurtured a passion for his love of trains throughout his life and was a charter member of the Danville Model Railroad Club where he enjoyed hours of building and designing the layout. He love to paint everything from canvas to automobiles and won numerous awards all over the country in car shows during the 1950's and 60's. He also loved to race motorcycles in the early years at VIR. He was always willing to share his talents with anyone, especially his family and friends and he influenced world renowned craftsman. His true love was music and he participated with the local ensembles River City Brass and Shades of Blue. He visited many area churches and local nursing homes to share his musical talents and bring joy to residents.

Jack and Anne Estlow traveled the country in fellowship with the Lawrence Welk Orchestra and became close friends with countless members of the organization. They enjoyed traveling after retirement driving to California several times on many musical adventures.

In addition to his wife, he was also predeceased by a son, John William Estlow, III in 2009, a sister Elvah Estlow Young and brother-in-law John Abner Hawkins.

He is survived by two daughters and their spouses, Nina E. and Claudie Taylor of Roxboro NC; Joyce E. and Jimmie Payne of Danville; three grandchildren, Allen and Laurie Taylor, Amy and Larry Matherly, Lisa Payne and fianc‚ Truman Moore; six great-grandchilden, Carley Taylor, Morgan Taylor, Haleigh Payne, Trevor Matherly, Rachelle Matherly and Camryn Matherly. Also surviving are a sister-in-law, Natalie P. Hawkins and two nieces, Rebecca Hawkins and Jo Todd, all of Lynchburg, VA.

Visitation will be held at Townes Funeral Home at 215 West Main Street in Danville, Wednesday, July 28, 2010 from 6:30 to 8:00 p.m. The service will be held at West Main Baptist Church on Thursday, July 30, 2010 at 11:00 a.m. Following the service, he will be honored in Highland Burial Park with graveside services.

Donations in his honor may be sent to Danville Model Railroad Club C/O_Hile's Inc., P.O. Box 1339, Danville, VA 24543 or Chatham Health and Rehabilitation Center (Courtyard Fund) at 100 Rorer Street, Chatham, VA 24531.

Townes Funeral Home & Crematory, 215 West Main Street, is serving the Estlow family. Sign the guestbook online at

This obituary was originally published in the Danville Register & Bee (Danville, VA).

Guest Book

Not sure what to say?

A kind, gentle and talented man.

John and Anne visited my late husband, Charles Grant Estlow, and our family in CA many years ago. Wonderful couple. They shared many memories of his family which he knew little about. Lost touch with them after Charles' death. My condolences to his family. John and Anne were a blessing to any and all whose lives they touched.

For over 70 years, Jack volunteered his talents playing taps at military funerals, Memorial Day, and any and all patriotic occasions.

Jack and Anne Ruth

I am so sorry to hear of Jack's passing. I was privileged to know him many years ago when we acted together in a play at Averett College.
He was an extraordinarily generous, kind, thoughtful and talented man.

I left Danville a long time ago and lost touch with Jack and John, but I will never forgot them.

Sincerely, Tom Merritt

Enjoying Each's Company

He More than Served His Country

John and Jack in earlier days...

Nina,Joyce,Allen,and others family,Keeping you all in my prayers,In this time great loss for each of you.Jack will be missed I know .but think of all the beautiful memories you haveof him.Cheeriesh each of
them.The service was a great tribute to Jack.Remembering all the lives he touched in his life.I loved the notes from the grand-childern
and greats.They touched me.So sweet and honest.The Taps !What
a send moving.My Love to you all.God Bless,Barbara Page
I'm ...