GAVIN, JOHN J. (1920 ~ 2007). The following is an obituary for former State Representative John J. Gavin. The obituary was published in February of 2007, Gavin has since been interred at the Texas State Cemetery.
"Former State Representative John J. Gavin died Friday, February 16, 2007 at his home in Wichita Falls surrounded by family and loved ones. Funeral Mass will be held 10:00 AM Monday, February 19, 2007 at Sacred Heart Catholic Church with Rev. Hoa Nguyen, pastor, officiating. Burial will be in Sacred Heart Catholic Cemetery under the direction of Lunn's Colonial Funeral Home. A Christian Wake will be held 6:00 PM Sunday, February 18, 2007 at Lunn's Colonial Chapel.
John was born August 23, 1920 in Indianapolis, IN. He was a graduate of the University of Notre Dame and served as a Carrier-based Navy Fighter Pilot in World War II and the United States Naval Reserve until 1948. He was a member of the group known as the 'Flying Irish,' composed of 1942 graduates of the University of Notre Dame who were rushed through graduation following December 7, 1941 and who went into Naval Aviation.
On March 2, 1942, John married the former Jean Elizabeth Devine of Indianapolis, IN. Following his discharge from active duty, he lived in Los Angeles, CA as an accountant for Fox West Coast Theatres. In 1948, he moved to Wichita Falls and partnered with his college roommate Tom Foley and Jack Foley in Wichita Sand and Gravel which they sold to Gifford Hill in 1960. He then became self-employed as a Life Underwriter and earned his Chartered Life Underwriter designation in 1970.
John served as Mayor of Wichita Falls from 1962 to 1964 and was instrumental in bringing about racial integration of restaurants and theatres as Mayor. He served as a member of the Texas House of Representatives for 5 terms from January 1981 to January 1991. John served as Chairman of the House Insurance Committee for three of those terms. He is the recipient of the Texas Leaders Round Table Outstanding Achievement Award for Distinguished Service by the Texas Association of Life Underwriters.
John leaves his wife of 64 years, Jean Gavin of Wichita Falls, and is also survived by daughters Jean Ohm and husband Al of Dallas, Kathleen Von Buren of Austin, Maureen Gavin of San Francisco, CA, Anne Patterson and husband Mike of Wichita Falls, and son John Gavin and wife Anne of Ft. Worth. He also leaves behind 10 grandchildren, 4 great grandchildren and his best friend of 69 years, Tom Foley.
Memorials may be made to Hospice of Wichita Falls, 4909 Johnson Rd., Wichita Falls, Texas 76310 or Sacred Heart Catholic Church, 1501 Ninth Street, Wichita Falls, Texas 76301."
Further information is available through the Texas State Cemetery research department.