John Kirkwood Overbey
Weed-Corley-Fish Funeral Home North - Austin
3125 N Lamar Blvd.
Austin, TX
John Kirkwood Overbey

John K. Overbey, 85, died of an old heart Monday at his home in Austin, Texas, where his large family soon gathered. Born in 1920, he got his first taste of the oil business as a young boy in Wichita Falls where his uncles were roustabouts in the Burkburnett Oil Field. His mother was a school teacher and his father was the county surveyor until the depression hit. The family moved to Houston where his father found a job surveying the Humble Oil Field. In high school he helped his dad "run the chain" on surveying jobs through the piney woods.

John attended the University of Texas, graduating with a law degree in 1942. Before the ink was dry on his Bar Exam, he was off to enlist in the Marines, finding out that he had passed while he was at boot camp in San Diego. Color blindness nearly kept him out of the service, but after several attempts at various enlistment offices he memorized the chart. After boot camp, he was stationed in New Zealand. His unit was preparing for the Tarawa Beach landing when he was selected for officer's school and headed back to Quantico, Virginia. When he returned to the South Pacific, he commanded a battery of anti-aircraft guns on the Battleship Massachusetts. His Marine contingent occupied the Yokosuka Naval Base in Tokyo harbor immediately after the Japanese surrendered. He remained in the reserves for 11 years after the war, attaining the rank of Captain.

John settled in Midland as a landman for Standard of Texas for two years before going independent in 1949. George H.W. Bush moved in across the street from John on the legendary "Easter Egg Row" of brightly painted new homes in Midland and they struck up a life-long friendship. Two years later, with John's field experience and Bush's financial contacts, they formed the Bush Overbey Oil Development Company. They were partners for several years until they joined Hugh and Bill Liedtke to form Zapata Petroleum in 1953. Zapata later evolved into Pennzoil. Preferring the simpler life, he left the corporate world of Zapata to continue as an independent oil operator, teaming with Baylor Van Meter for 25 years.

In 1970, John and Van Meter formed Forty-Nine North and moved to Anchorage with their families to participate in the Alaskan oil boom. John served on the Board of Wein Air Alaska? an airline that was owned and controlled by former "bush" pilots. As Chairman of the Board of Alaska Pacific University, he guided that institution through a major reorganization in 1977.

John's heart brought him back to Austin in 1981 after triple by-pass surgery. Back in Texas he enjoyed the antics of his large family, being with his wife "my lovely Susan," going to the office with Kirk and Kathy, and taking every opportunity to go fly fishing. John eagerly anticipated lunch each month with the unofficial "Old Men's Club" comprised of World War II veterans and all their stories.

He is survived by his first wife Lorna Overbey, his wife Susan Overbey, his children and step-children Kirk Overbey, Kathy Overbey, Susie Locker, Sally Robb, Daniel Gifford, Charlie Gifford, O'Shea Gifford, and Dorothy Overbey, and 17 grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his grandson, John William Overbey.

The recitation of the Rosary will be on Friday, March 3rd, at 8:15 p.m. after the Stations of the Cross at St. Mary's Cathedral at 10th and Brazos in downtown Austin. The funeral Mass will be celebrated by Father Bud Roland and Father Robert Bradley, S.J., at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday, March 4th, also at St. Mary's Cathedral. Parking is available in the Commodore 2 Plaza garage entering from San Jacinto Blvd. The Rite of Christian Burial will take place afterwards at Capital Parks Cemetery, 14501 N. IH-35, in Pflugerville, TX, with a reception following at the Overbey home.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Saint Mary's Cathedral; to the Veterans of Foreign Wars 8925, 8706 FM 812, Austin, TX, 78719; or to the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund, 1 Intrepid Square, W. 46th at 12th Avenue, NY, NY, 10036, (800)340-HERO, which serves military personnel who have been catastrophically disabled in Iraq and Afghanistan and in other operations.

Arrangements by Weed-Corley-Fish Funeral Home, 3125 N. Lamar Blvd., Austin, Texas 78705 (512) 452-8811. Obituary and guestbook on line at
Published by Midland Reporter-Telegram on Mar. 1, 2006.
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Weed-Corley-Fish Funeral Home North - Austin
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12 Entries
Dear Susan,

I had the privilege of meeting John and you only once, but that brief meeting was more than enough to forever imprint on my heart what wonderful loving people you are. I am grateful for having known John even that little bit, and for the love and kindness you extended to my Lauren when she came to Austin for ballet school. Her friendship with Dorothy has been a treasure all these years as well. My thoughts and prayers are with you, having just today learned this news. God bless you all.
Linda Clark
March 29, 2006
Dearest Susan and family,
John was truly a remarkable man.
God has called him home and He
truly smiled at him as he
arrived and said to John
"Well,done my son."
Our love and prayers will be
with you and all your family.
With love,
Lupita and Michael(Tues.prayer
Lupita Eisenmenger
March 18, 2006
Susan, Dorothy and family,
Your family has always personified the height of generosity and warmth. Know that a compassionate community that your work has inspired now stands ready to support you. Our thoughts and prayers are with you.
Michelle and Bill Piner
March 4, 2006
Susan, Although I cannot physically be with you, I am with you in spirit, and John's spirit will always be with you. May you be overjoyed at the love and comfort of those who have known John over the years. Fondly, Suzanne
Suzanne Schutze
March 3, 2006
Dear Susan and Family,

Please accept our deepest condolences. John was a wonderful man and will be missed by all. I will fondly remember him, particularly the afternoon I spent talking to him and enjoying his humor during Fr. Bradley's anniversary dinner. May God bring you and your family His comfort, consolation and blessings. Please know that everyone will be in our prayers.


Ken Geraci and Family
Ken Geraci
March 2, 2006
Dear Susan and Family,
I am so sorry to hear about John's death. My sincerest prayers and sympathies are with all of you.
Tracy Hover Stevens
Tracy Hover Stevens
March 2, 2006
Our condolences to Susan and family. John was the quiet patriarch of a generous family that we know will continue to do great things on behalf of their community. You will be in our prayers as we begin this Lenten season.
Ed & Lauri Check
March 2, 2006
To all of John's family. My thoughts and prayers are with you and John. I am very proud and honored to have known John. He was one of the finest individuals I have had the pleasure to meet.
Bill Hover
March 1, 2006
Dear Susan and family,

We are very sorry to learn of the death of John. May he rest in peace and enjoy the light of glory and the communion of the saints.

Sincerely in Christ,
Bob and Kathy Fastiggi
Robert Fastiggi
March 1, 2006
Susan and family, we are sorry for your loss. He will be greatly missed. Carol and I know that you have been praying for him. I feel that he is in heaven.

Your friends in Christ.
Raymond B. & Carol Stojanik
Raymond B. & Carol Stojanik
March 1, 2006
Our family offers its sincere sympathy to yours during this time. Without doubt, John will greatly be missed by us all, but we know his reward, and rejoice that he has entered into the presence of the Lord he served; ere long, we shall see him again.
Cliff & Lynda Sparks
March 1, 2006
Dearest Susan and family,

My love and prayers are with you and the family. I feel sad at the loss of your beloved but greatful to have known him. God has another angel with Him. God bless and keep you in His meriful heart.

Alice and Tuesday Night Prayer Group
Alice Vasquez
March 1, 2006
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