John Wallace Etheredge
JOHN WALLACE ETHEREDGE
VICTORIA - John Wallace Etheredge, Sr., 94, of Victoria, Texas, passed away April 30, 2013. Born February 1919 in Weldon, Texas to Mode Barbee and Ora (Read) Etheredge, he was a graduate of Crockett High School and Sam Houston State University. Etheredge trained as a pilot and served as Captain in the Army Air Corp during World War II, assigned to a P-38 Squadron in San Diego, California. He was Chief Controller, of the San Diego Air Defense Wing and was transferred to Los Angeles as Chief Controller, responsible for the air defense of Southern California. He was honorably discharged in 1946, returning to Texas, where he worked as principle of Trinity High School. While serving in San Diego, Etheredge met and married Lucille Schmidt. They divorced in 1961.
Etheredge later went into Chamber of Commerce management, holding jobs in several Texas cities during the next 20 years. While serving as Manager of El Campo Chamber of Commerce, the city was twice nominated as an All American City by the National Municipal League and Look Magazine, the result of the Chamber's aggressive civic improvement program. Etheredge met and married Laverne Wallingford Moore in 1965. In 1967, he joined Brazos Electric Power Cooperative in Waco, Texas as Community Development Specialist.
Etheredge retired in 1980 and moved to Lake Livingston, near Trinity, where he served as part-time Chamber Manager, helping to establish an industrial park and secured two new industries. He helped organize the Trinity Hospital District, served on its Board, coordinated and helped maintain an all-volunteer ambulance service, and was coordinator of the Christmas Basket Program for several years.
In 1987, Etheredge spearheaded the establishment of and until 2008, served as Chairman of The Good Samaritan House, which for the past 26 years has furnished free furniture, food, clothing and medicine to the needy in Trinity. He served as Coordinator for the Christmas Basket Program for many years. In 1983, Etheredge was instrumental in establishing Lake Area National Bank, serving on the Board and as Loan Committee Chairman. Etheredge was a member of Dorcas Wills Memorial Baptist Church and East Texas Military Officers Association.
Etheredge is survived by his wife of 47 years, Laverne Wallingford Etheredge of Victoria, Texas; six children: Iris Susan Etheredge of McGregor, Texas; Linda Etheredge Plate (David) of Atascadero, California; John Wallace Etheredge, Jr. (Candace) of Eugene, Oregon; James Walter Etheredge (Carrie) of Waco, Texas; Joseph William Etheredge (Susie) of McGregor, Texas; Mary Alice Etheredge of Houston, Texas; two step-daughters, Ruth Ann Perkins (Ken) of Fulshear, Texas; and Marilyn Moore Hamilton of Victoria, Texas; 16 grandchildren, 8 great-grandchildren and one great-grandson on the way.
A visitation will be held at Rosewood Funeral Chapel on Sunday, May 5, 2013, from 5-7 p.m., with a service to be held Monday, May 6, 2013, at 2:00 p.m. at the McWilliams Funeral Home in Hempstead. Interment will follow at Hempstead City Cemetery with military honors performed by the Randolph Air Force Base Honor Guard.
In lieu of flowers, a memorial may be send to the Dorcas Wills Memorial Baptist Church, Box 112, Trinity, Texas, 75862, or the Student Loan Fund, Sam Houston State University, Huntsville, Texas, 77341.
Words of comfort may be shared with the family at www.rosewoodfuneralchapel.com