John McCleskey, 68, of Wichita Falls, Texas, returned to his Heavenly Father on June 21, 2020, after a long, hard-fought battle with dementia, surrounded by his family.
He was born to parents Wilmer Wilson and Ruth McCleskey on March 16, 1952 in Rising Star, Texas. John graduated from Eastland High School, received a bachelor’s degree in History from Tarleton State University, and later received a master’s degree in Educational Leadership from Midwestern State University. He married Terri Moore and had two children, Joshua and Megan, all three of whom survive him. He is also survived by his mother Ruth, and his brother Ronald, and Ronald’s wife Mona. John was predeceased by his father, Wilmer Wilson McCleskey, and his sister, Laura Lee Wimer. John was fortunate to have met his first grandson, Hudson.
John was known for his love of his family, motorcycles, travel to historical monuments and national parks, Siberian Huskies, old Westerns, malted milk balls, and his dedication to the education system.
John’s career in education was a passion throughout his life. He began his 35 years of service in the public education system at Chico ISD in 1977 as a history teacher and coach. Throughout his career, he held the role of History teacher, P.E. teacher, and athletic coach at Barwise Junior High School and Rider High School. He became an administrator for Barwise Junior High School in 1994 and transitioned to a position as an administrator at Wichita Falls High School in 1995. He served the Wichita Falls Independent School District until his retirement in 2012. Asking a family member, friend, coworker, or former student for stories of John results in a smile and the recollection of a man who was professional, fair, genuine, caring, supportive, impactful, wise, kind, and level-headed. He was also known as a dedicated mentor, an engaging educator, and a lifelong athlete.
He will be missed and remembered.