John McCleskey
1952 - 2020
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John McCleskey

Wichita Falls - John McCleskey, 68, of Wichita Falls, Texas, returned to his Heavenly Father on June 21, 2020, after a long, hard-fought battle with dementia, surrounded by his family.

He was born to parents Wilmer Wilson and Ruth McCleskey on March 16, 1952 in Rising Star, Texas. John graduated from Eastland High School, received a bachelor's degree in History from Tarleton State University, and later received a master's degree in Educational Leadership from Midwestern State University. He married Terri Moore and had two children, Joshua and Megan, all three of whom survive him. He is also survived by his mother Ruth, and his brother Ronald, and Ronald's wife Mona. John was predeceased by his father, Wilmer Wilson McCleskey, and his sister, Laura Lee Wimer. John was fortunate to have met his first grandson, Hudson.

John was known for his love of his family, motorcycles, travel to historical monuments and national parks, Siberian Huskies, old Westerns, malted milk balls, and his dedication to the education system.

John's career in education was a passion throughout his life. He began his 35 years of service in the public education system at Chico ISD in 1977 as a history teacher and coach. Throughout his career, he held the role of History teacher, P.E. teacher, and athletic coach at Barwise Junior High School and Rider High School. He became an administrator for Barwise Junior High School in 1994 and transitioned to a position as an administrator at Wichita Falls High School in 1995. He served the Wichita Falls Independent School District until his retirement in 2012. Asking a family member, friend, coworker, or former student for stories of John results in a smile and the recollection of a man who was professional, fair, genuine, caring, supportive, impactful, wise, kind, and level-headed. He was also known as a dedicated mentor, an engaging educator, and a lifelong athlete.

He will be missed and remembered.




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Published in Times Record News from Jun. 24 to Jun. 26, 2020.
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MEMORIES & CONDOLENCES
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11 entries
July 1, 2020
John David and I met at a church retreat in Brownwood 50 years ago. We were instantly drawn to one another. John and I began as pen pals, soon he began driving from Eastland to my hometown of Fort Worth. We remained close friends throughout the many years. John was brilliant, a sincere Christian, and the only man, besides my Dad, I respected enough to allow tell me what to do, without question. I'll always love you, and I'm gonna miss you very much, JDM...
Alisa Bondurant Fortune
Friend
June 27, 2020
Condolences to the family. May God bless you during your time of grief.
Debra Pardue
Acquaintance
June 26, 2020
I remember both John and his brother, Ron, as teenagers growing up in Eastland. We were neighbors I believe on South Seaman. He was a fine young man then and continued to be as he pursued and contribute to a career in education. Condolences to his family and mother, Ruth.
Kathy Stevens
Neighbor
June 26, 2020
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Jennifer Kelly
June 26, 2020
Coach McCleskey was a super guy who will be sorely missed. I had the honor of being coached by him at both Barwise and Rider. In addition, I got to work with him when I began my teaching career at Barwise back in 1995. Along with Robert Mobley and Larry Menefee, John McCleskey made Barwise and later Rider memorable and fun. I love and appreciate what these three men did for me and so many others over the years. Thank you, Coach McCleskey. Rest In Peace.....
Chris Hartman
Friend
June 26, 2020
John was my football coach at Barwise Junior High School, teaching me lessons I could not appreciate until I was much older. He was a good man and will be missed. God Bless.
Lyn Kelly
Student
June 26, 2020
Thank you coach McCleskey for giving me my first real lessons in football.
You had a great impact on me and countless others at Barwise.
You will be missed.
Owen Kelly
Owen Kelly
Student
June 26, 2020
McCleskey Family-I cannot believe this. I am so sorry for your loss. I had the privilege of having Coach as my 7/8 grade history teacher at Barwise. He was very spirited in his teachings. Always fair. I admired him as a teacher and a coach. I remember when he would bring Megan to class. she was probably 3 or 4 years old. Megan would sit in my lap while I worked. My siblings were the same age as Megan and Josh so I naturally took a liking to Coach's kids. I remember being shocked and honored that Coach and Mrs McCleskey entrusted their children with me. i would come to your house on Wildflower and babysit so you guys could have a night out. The kids were always well behaved. I look back fondly on those times of my life. I am so grateful to have had such a great Teacher/Coach and someone who believed in me and trusted me with his beloved children. May you find comfort and peace as you walk through the coming days. When my own Dad passed away unexpectedly last year, I leaned heavily on this verse that I would like to share with you all. Psalm 139:10--Even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will surely hold me fast. The Lord sees you in this season--He will guide you and He WILL hold you fast.

Sincerely,
Karen (Apple) Dunavan
Karen Dunavan
Student
June 25, 2020
John was a great mentor and person. May God bless you and your family.
James LaValley
Coworker
June 25, 2020
I enjoyed working with John at WFHS. He will be missed.
Tricia Howry
June 25, 2020
He was a amazing person. May he rest in peace.
Patricia crain
Student
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