John William Proctor Stockdale, of Jacksboro, Texas, passed away peacefully at home and in the presence of loved ones on Nov. 10, 2022 at the age of 83.
John Stockdale was born April 11, 1939 in Fort Worth, Texas to Ernest Frederick Stockdale, Sr., an attorney, and Alice Eitelman Stockdale, a teacher and artist. John had two siblings, his sister Linda Sikes and brother Fred Stockdale.
Their family had a long history in Fort Worth, where his grandfather and great-grandfather were proprietors of a blacksmith and horseshoeing business established in 1877. John’s father practiced law in a number of cities, including Morton, TX, where John graduated from high school. John went on to earn his bachelor’s degree in music from Eastern New Mexico University in Portales, NM. He married Dianna Merrifield of Fort Worth, TX on Nov. 12, 1971. The couple had four children – Nita, Leanna, Michael, and Whitney.
Known as Mr. Stockdale to generations of students, John was a band director for over 50 years in the towns of Morton, Jacksboro, Bridgeport, Garden City, Albany, and others. During the summers, he taught countless children how to swim.
An avid reader, John also enjoyed participating in choir and attending OU games with his friends. A member of the Jacksboro Parish, he was also an active attendee and lay minister for the First Christian Church in Albany, TX. John spent many years singing and performing with the Fort Griffin Fandangle in Albany, TX as well as a special performance for the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service at the LBJ National Historical Park.
John had a sly sense of humor, a generous heart, and had been amply blessed with the gift of gab. John never met a stranger. He enjoyed spending time with his family, especially his grandchildren.
John is preceded in death by his parents, brother, and sister. He is survived by his loving wife, Dianna, daughters Nita and Leanna, son Michael (Kelly), daughter Whitney (Drew), as well as his granddaughters, Harper, Penny, Hogan, and Goldie.
According to his wishes, the family will hold a Celebration of Life to mark his 84th birthday. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that you consider making a donation to Concerned Citizens, the Gladys Johnson Ritchie Public Library, or the non-profit organization of your choice.