October 24, 1946 - May 12, 2012
John Richard Waite, 65, of Jefferson City, Missouri, passed away Saturday, May 12, 2012, at St. Mary's Health Center after a sudden illness. He was born October 24, 1946, at St. Mary's Health Center, Jefferson City, Missouri, the son of Barbara Wilson Waite and the late Dr. Ernest S. Waite. John received a Bachelor of Arts in History education, from William Jewell College in 1969, where he was a member of Kappa Alpha Fraternal Order. He and Sharon Hawkins married June 26, 1971. John taught 4th grade in Brighton, Colorado for six years and in the De Soto School District for 25 years. He taught high school AP American History, was Yearbook sponsor, and district Technology Coordinator. John wrote numerous grants and was responsible for bringing technology into the De Soto School District. He was Varsity Girl's Basketball Coach from 1978 - 1980. He could also be heard at varsity football games giving a spirited play by play account of action on the field. Fans often enjoyed his commentary as much as the game. His love of sports, lead him to spend many years as scorekeeper for the Boys' Basketball team. He was never shy about lending Head Coach Allen Davis his opinion. MoSports fans were familiar with his joy of 'getting things stirred up'. 'Oldscrkpr' was a well-known regular; voicing his takes on anything controversial. Upon John's retirement, the family moved to Mexico, Missouri. He could not retire his desire to teach and spent numerous days substitute teaching. In 2005, he and Sharon moved to Jefferson City, where John took up proctoring the GED examination for the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. In addition to education, John had a passion for trains. He was founder of the East Tennessee and Western North Carolina (ET&WNC) Historical Society; published a magazine, 'The Blue Ridge Stemwinder' with Chris Ford, Memphis, Tenn. for over 20 years; and was author of a book by the same title (published by OverMountain Press), with maps and layout by his partner Chris. He was a proud model railroader whose layout is well-known by model railfans. His work crew, the PMS (afternoon SN3) group spent Wednesdays working on their railroads. His layout was on tour at the National Narrow Gauge Convention, 2009. Above his passion for education and trains, his greatest love was for his family. John and Sharon were married for 41 years; he was most proud of his children - his son Dr. Brandon Waite and wife Evelyn both teach at Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana; and his daughter, Barrett Waite, teaches first grade in St. Louis. Other surviving family members include his mother, Mrs. Barbara Waite, Westminster, Colo.; his brother, retired Lt. Col. David Waite (Athena), Riverside, Calif. and his sister, Mrs. Kathy Hatz (Bruce) of Broomfield, Colo.; his mother-in-law, Mrs. Ruth Hawkins (the late Harold Hawkins), Festus, Missouri; and numerous other relatives and friends. A Celebration of Life Memorial service for John will be held this coming Sunday afternoon, June 10, at 2 p.m. in the De Soto Junior High School gymnasium - better known as 'The Pit'. The family requests that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to the John R. Waite Memorial Scholarship Fund, for De Soto graduates, Hawthorne Bank, P.O. Box 688, Jefferson City, MO 65102. John had requested to be cremated. His ashes will be spread in the Doe River Gorge, near Boone, North Carolina during a ceremony this coming fall.
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