Jean John

Jean R. John

November 23, 1929—March 11, 2023




Jean R. JohnJean John peacefully and gracefully passed into the arms of Jesus on Saturday evening, March 11, 2023. We are heartbroken but thankful for her 93 years on this earth. She was beautiful, strong, and amazing.

Jean was born to John and Lovelace Reid in 1929, and was a sister to Harold (Ann) and Dick Reid. Growing up across the street from TC Miller School and playground, Jean gravitated to the sports her brothers played, baseball and basketball, and she developed a deep conviction of competitiveness. It was this same love of sports that also fueled her interest in cheerleading, leading her to being elected to head cheerleader at Lynchburg High/EC Glass High School. And it was in this same childhood neighborhood that she formed the lifelong bonds of friendship with Bob, Gloria, Pat, Patsy, Phyllis, Winnie, Francis and many others. 

It was Jean’s pitching on the softball diamond where she first encountered umpire Jack Pugh and sparked a wonderful love and romance leading to marriage and the birth of her children -- Bonnie Herncall, Debbi Harris, Reggie (Pat), Cyndie Jackson (Darryl) and Tim (Lisa). Jack played semi-pro baseball with Jean becoming the official scorekeeper for his teams. Jack also introduced tennis to Jean and she became a champion player in numerous communities, playing competitively nationally and winning tournaments into her mid 80s while never failing to cheer for her favorite player, Roger Federer. They loved vacationing in the Outer Banks and were grateful for Jack’s work excursions to Vegas where they enjoyed numerous shows, particularly the Rat Pack -- Sinatra, Martin and Davis. 

Jean also loved the fine arts, singing in school and performing in the Lynchburg Little and Fine Arts Theaters. And she spent decades in the Euclid Christian Church choir under the direction of special friends David and Nancy Goode. When Jean and Jack left Lynchburg in the early 70s, she later directed choirs in Jasper, IN, and Spartanburg, SC, and performed in their symphony chorus and chorales. Jean studied art with family and best friends Kat, Ruby, Phyllis and Jean under the tutelage of Jen Ayers and Dick Frisbee along with the guidance from nationally recognized artists at numerous workshops she attended. Her many watercolors and collages are displayed in the homes of her family and friends. Jean’s love for the piano began at a very young age and she was happy to share her talents in her church, at special events, and always with family and friends. Jean continued to sing and play the piano throughout her adult life and into her 93rd year.

With 5 children Jean was a stay-at-home mom for many years, driving her children and others to numerous activities. She was a charter member of Lynchburg’s Fort Hill Women’s Club and served as an early club president. During later years, Jean enjoyed providing volunteer assistance at hospitals in Jasper, IN, and Bluffton, SC.

After a wonderful union of 35 years, Jack passed in 1980, shortly following his 55th birthday. Widowed for 20 years (but on the lookout for 19), Jean met and married Bryon (Barney) John in 2000, and they enjoyed 6 years of coastal living in Bluffton, SC. Jean enjoyed the Sun City community, especially tennis, and celebrating Jesus at Low Country Presbyterian Church.

When Barney passed in 2006, Jean embarked on another 14 years of independent living in Sun City. Following several falls, Jean found herself in assisted living communities in the Atlanta area surrounded by several children and numerous grand and great-grandchildren. Gratefully not a day passed over the next 3 plus years that Jean wasn’t visited by one or more children even during the COVID locked periods.

In addition to her children, Jean is survived by 10 grandchildren—Chip Herncall (Ashley), Britt Herncall (Holly), Heath Harris (Tina), Hans Harris (Linda), Lori Howell (Michael), Jordan Pugh, Katie Cunningham (David), Jay Jackson (Caitlyn), Brady Pugh (Becky) and Brittney Little (Matt); 16 great-grandchildren and 4 great-great-grandchildren.

Jean’s faith was devout, and her strength of self and her love for family and friends unwavering. Her grandchildren remarked that they suspect that  Grandmama is singing and playing the piano for her family and friends in Heaven. And as always, Ma-mama’s hair is perfectly curled, her makeup is just right, and her outfit is ‘on point.’