John Merlin Womble
September 14, 1942 — January 26, 2022
John Merlin Womble passed away on January 26, 2022, at the age of 79, in his home in Bastrop, Texas, after a battle with cancer.
He was born September 14, 1942, in Abilene, Texas, to parents John and Louise Womble. He is preceded in death by his parents, as well as by his brother, Jerry Samuel Womble.
John grew up in Abilene, graduating from Abilene High School in 1960, where he was Captain of the Eagle Band. From there he attended Texas Tech University, leading their ROTC Precision Drill Team. He returned to Abilene to marry Marylyn Faith Cason and they were wed on July 13, 1963. In 1966, John graduated from Hardin-Simmons University, earning his Bachelor of Business Administration and serving as a founding member of the Alpha Kappa Psi business fraternity on that campus. He would later earn his Masters of Business Administration from Hardin-Simmons in 1985.
John began his professional career with Anderson Clayton and Company, serving in the accounting and office management section in Abilene and the industrial sales division in Dallas. After five years with that firm, he was employed by the Chilton Corporation and was General Manager of offices in Pine Bluff, Arkansas, Galveston and Texas City. He returned with his family to Abilene in 1972 as Assistant General Manager of the Abilene Chamber of Commerce, and from 1976-78 was Vice President for the Hendrick Medical Center Foundation. In 1978, John was named Director of Alumni Relations at Hardin-Simmons, where he served until 1985, eventually becoming Assistant Vice President for Development. He left Hardin-Simmons to join Baylor University as Associate Vice President for Development and went on to serve in similar roles as Vice President with Centenary College of Louisiana and Mercer University in Macon, Georgia. In 1990 John and Marylyn moved to the Washington, D.C., area, where John took assignment with the Baptist Joint Committee on Public Affairs. The couple returned to Texas in 1994 when John was hired as Vice President of Club Marketing Services in Duncanville.
John loved history, especially of the WWII era, and was an avid fan of books and movies. He also loved the game of football, serving as a high school football official in Texas for more than 37 years and officiating more than 350 varsity games. Semiretired in 2006, John began his final professional chapter working as Adjunct Instructor in Management, Marketing, and Business Administration with Dallas Community College. In 2007 he also began teaching at the Midlothian Campus of Navarro College and became an Adjunct Instructor in Management and Finance with Tarleton State University in 2013. A lifelong learner, John found great joy in teaching.
He was a diligent Sunday School teacher in the many churches in which he and Marylyn served. A man of strong faith, John served the Church throughout his life as teacher, deacon, elder, and ordained minister. He was known as a gentle, thoughtful, and learned man, earning great respect from those who knew him. John was a devoted husband and father, and was considered a mentor and friend by so many.
John leaves behind his beloved wife of 58 years, Marylyn, as well as three children: John Richard (Rick) Womble (wife Becki) of Bastrop, Texas; Jessica Craft (husband David) of Frisco, Texas; and Jeffrey Womble (wife Meg) of Metairie, Louisiana; and three grandchildren, John Lealan Womble of Bryan, Texas; Jack Cason Womble of Bastrop, Texas; and McKenna Ellen (Emme) Womble of Metairie, Louisiana.
Funeral services are at 2:00 PM Monday, January 31, at Jaynes Memorial Chapel in Duncanville. A committal service will be held at 11:30 AM Tuesday, February 1, at Drummond Cemetery near Abilene. Friends and loved ones are invited to attend either or both services.