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 John Clifton Wellons Jr.

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John Clifton Wellons Jr.

Birth
Canton, Madison County, Mississippi, USA
Death
25 Jul 1996 (aged 65)
Hattiesburg, Forrest County, Mississippi, USA
Burial
Columbia, Marion County, Mississippi, USA
Memorial ID
40435875 View Source

Columbian Progress, 3 Aug 1996, Sat; Pages 1 & 2

John Wellons, Jr. succumbs to Gehrig's Disease complications

On the morning of his sixty-fifth birthday, July 25th, John Clifton Wellons, Jr. passed away peacefully, surrounded by his family at Methodist Hospital in Hattiesburg. Diagnosed with ALS - Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis or Lou Gehrig's Disease - in November of 1994, the gradual nerve-degenerating effects of the disease slowly wore down his physical condition, but never his mental or spiritual.

Visitation was held between 5:00 and 8:30 p.m. at St. Stephen's Episcopal Church in Columbia Friday, July 26th. The Rev. Victor M. Bircher performed the Burial Office and Holy Eucharist the following morning at 11:00 a.m.. with the committal completed at Woodlawn Cemetery in Columbia. Mr. Wellons was laid to rest under full military Honor Guard including a twenty-one gun salute and the playing of taps. The flag draped over his coffin was folded and presented to Mrs. John C. WelIons Jr. by Colonel Thurman Hodge of the Mississippi Air National Guard.

Mr. Wellons is survived by his wife, Evelyn Smalling Wellons; his mother Patsy Watson Wellons of Jackson and his three children, Evelyn Childress Smalling Wellons of Columbia, Sarah Wellons Laird of New York, New York, and Dr. John C. Wellons III, of Durham, North Carolina. The deceased's brother Kennard Watson Wellons lives in Lexington, Ky. and his sister Joy Wellons Wiltshire lives in Orange Beach, Ala. He has two grandchildren, Mary Charles Laird and Chappell Schoell Laird, both of New York, N.Y.

Born July 25th, 1931, in Canton to John Clifton Wellons and Patsy Watson Wellons, John Wellons actively helped his father in his chain of dry cleaning stores. As told by his mother, John's father gave all the children a weekly silver dollar as compensation for helping in the stores. By the age of sixteen, John had saved up enough to buy his first airplane - a small Piper Cub. It was here that his family had their first glimpse of his life-long love for business and for flying.

He attended Central High School in Jackson from 1945 to 1949 and matriculated to Milsaps College in the fall of 1949. In May of 1955, he graduated with a B.S. in Business Administration from the University of Southern Mississippi, continuing on to receive his M.B.A. in finance in May of 1965.

Initially, Mr. Wellons went to work for Westvaco Paper Company taking him and his new family to Charleston, South Carolina, Richmond, Virginia and Mechanicville, New York. Led back down to the south by Bill Walker, he worked as an executive in the Bill's Dollar Store Company. Soon, he elected to venture out on his own, starting the Dollar General Store Corporation which would in time grow to 200 plus stores throughout six states.

During this time period he was active in many organizations including the Mississippi Retail Merchant's Association for which he served as President in 1980. Following his time with the Dollar General Corporation, he accepted a position at USM teaching marketing and management where be would eventually become Director of Development from the years 1981 to 1985.

In 1985, Mr. Wellons began work for Murray Envelope Corporation, becoming president soon after. He served on the Board of Directors for the Envelope Manufacturer's Association of America and remained extremely active in various sub-committees and seminars. During his time at Murray, the company grew to one of the national leaders in its field and Mr. Wellons drew great pleasure from the relationships forged there, both on a business and personal level.

Mr. Wellons also served thirty-three years in the Mississippi Air National Guard taking him around the world from Japan to Germany to Panama, logging 12,000 plus hours in the pilot's seat. Most specifically, he flew C-130 Hercules air transports and served as Lieutenant Colonel at the Headquarters of the Mississippi Air National Guard in Jackson. After transfer to the 186th Tactical Reconnaissance Group based in Meridian, he was promoted to the rank of Full Colonel and Group Commander. Within four years the RF-4 jet fighter unit -"the Magnolia Militia" - was one of the top units in the nation and received the Air Force Outstanding Unit Citation.

He received the Mississippi Magnolia Cross for his exceptional service to the Mississippi Air National Guard in January of 1985. Nearly ten years following his retirement, he was awarded the Legion of Merit on October 3, 1995, the highest award that can be given in the civilian world, and was promoted on the list of retired Air National Guard officers to the rank of Brigadier General.

Mr. Wellons was also an active member of St. Stephen's Episcopal Church of Columbia for thirty years. Numerous times, he served on the Mission Committee and as Senior Warden. Both he and his wife Lyn were involved in the statewide Episcopal Church, serving on various diocesian organizations and acting as delegates to the National Annual Council.

He was a member of the Kappa Alpha Order while at Milsaps and USM and was elected to the KA Court of Honor in 1996. Also, he worked heavily with Boy Scouting and was a past member of the Boy Scout Executive Committee. Mr. Wellons remained extremely active in both of the communities of Columbia and Hattiesburg.

At the time of his death, Mr. Wellons was participating in a research study for potential treatments of A.L.S. Monthly flights took him to the University of Miami Medical Center for a Phase III trial of an experimental drug, BDNF (Brain Derived Neurotrophic Factor). There was and still is, promising evidence that this drug, at various dosages and, possibly, in combination with other neurotrophic factors, specifically Myotrophin. may control the progression of the disease and give others diagnosed with A.L.S. hope. Support for the ongoing research may be sent to:

ALS Association, 21021 Ventura Blvd., Suite 321, Woodland Hills, CA 91364 800-782-4747

It was his indomitable spirit and unquenchable zest for life that won John Wellons many friends and the admiration of nearly all he would meet. Through his too-numerous-to-count Grandma's laws, he espoused his cultural wisdom. Favorites like "its hard to go someplace you haven't ever been" or "change is a process that moves three degrees a second, any faster and you fall out of your chair" have been known to be heard over long meals at the Mexican Kitchen in Hattiesburg or Leatha's Barbecue Inn in Foxworth.

As a close friend wrote to him near the end of his life, John would be remembered to him as:

"An enthusiastic jet jockey: A loyal fraternity brother; a long time friend; an optimistic lover of life; a devoted family man; a successful business leader; and a caring, Episcopal Gentleman."

And as his son, I would add "a wonderful father ".
Contributor: Mona Hura - Find A Grave ID # 47044150 (email - [email protected])

Columbian Progress, 3 Aug 1996, Sat; Pages 1 & 2

John Wellons, Jr. succumbs to Gehrig's Disease complications

On the morning of his sixty-fifth birthday, July 25th, John Clifton Wellons, Jr. passed away peacefully, surrounded by his family at Methodist Hospital in Hattiesburg. Diagnosed with ALS - Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis or Lou Gehrig's Disease - in November of 1994, the gradual nerve-degenerating effects of the disease slowly wore down his physical condition, but never his mental or spiritual.

Visitation was held between 5:00 and 8:30 p.m. at St. Stephen's Episcopal Church in Columbia Friday, July 26th. The Rev. Victor M. Bircher performed the Burial Office and Holy Eucharist the following morning at 11:00 a.m.. with the committal completed at Woodlawn Cemetery in Columbia. Mr. Wellons was laid to rest under full military Honor Guard including a twenty-one gun salute and the playing of taps. The flag draped over his coffin was folded and presented to Mrs. John C. WelIons Jr. by Colonel Thurman Hodge of the Mississippi Air National Guard.

Mr. Wellons is survived by his wife, Evelyn Smalling Wellons; his mother Patsy Watson Wellons of Jackson and his three children, Evelyn Childress Smalling Wellons of Columbia, Sarah Wellons Laird of New York, New York, and Dr. John C. Wellons III, of Durham, North Carolina. The deceased's brother Kennard Watson Wellons lives in Lexington, Ky. and his sister Joy Wellons Wiltshire lives in Orange Beach, Ala. He has two grandchildren, Mary Charles Laird and Chappell Schoell Laird, both of New York, N.Y.

Born July 25th, 1931, in Canton to John Clifton Wellons and Patsy Watson Wellons, John Wellons actively helped his father in his chain of dry cleaning stores. As told by his mother, John's father gave all the children a weekly silver dollar as compensation for helping in the stores. By the age of sixteen, John had saved up enough to buy his first airplane - a small Piper Cub. It was here that his family had their first glimpse of his life-long love for business and for flying.

He attended Central High School in Jackson from 1945 to 1949 and matriculated to Milsaps College in the fall of 1949. In May of 1955, he graduated with a B.S. in Business Administration from the University of Southern Mississippi, continuing on to receive his M.B.A. in finance in May of 1965.

Initially, Mr. Wellons went to work for Westvaco Paper Company taking him and his new family to Charleston, South Carolina, Richmond, Virginia and Mechanicville, New York. Led back down to the south by Bill Walker, he worked as an executive in the Bill's Dollar Store Company. Soon, he elected to venture out on his own, starting the Dollar General Store Corporation which would in time grow to 200 plus stores throughout six states.

During this time period he was active in many organizations including the Mississippi Retail Merchant's Association for which he served as President in 1980. Following his time with the Dollar General Corporation, he accepted a position at USM teaching marketing and management where be would eventually become Director of Development from the years 1981 to 1985.

In 1985, Mr. Wellons began work for Murray Envelope Corporation, becoming president soon after. He served on the Board of Directors for the Envelope Manufacturer's Association of America and remained extremely active in various sub-committees and seminars. During his time at Murray, the company grew to one of the national leaders in its field and Mr. Wellons drew great pleasure from the relationships forged there, both on a business and personal level.

Mr. Wellons also served thirty-three years in the Mississippi Air National Guard taking him around the world from Japan to Germany to Panama, logging 12,000 plus hours in the pilot's seat. Most specifically, he flew C-130 Hercules air transports and served as Lieutenant Colonel at the Headquarters of the Mississippi Air National Guard in Jackson. After transfer to the 186th Tactical Reconnaissance Group based in Meridian, he was promoted to the rank of Full Colonel and Group Commander. Within four years the RF-4 jet fighter unit -"the Magnolia Militia" - was one of the top units in the nation and received the Air Force Outstanding Unit Citation.

He received the Mississippi Magnolia Cross for his exceptional service to the Mississippi Air National Guard in January of 1985. Nearly ten years following his retirement, he was awarded the Legion of Merit on October 3, 1995, the highest award that can be given in the civilian world, and was promoted on the list of retired Air National Guard officers to the rank of Brigadier General.

Mr. Wellons was also an active member of St. Stephen's Episcopal Church of Columbia for thirty years. Numerous times, he served on the Mission Committee and as Senior Warden. Both he and his wife Lyn were involved in the statewide Episcopal Church, serving on various diocesian organizations and acting as delegates to the National Annual Council.

He was a member of the Kappa Alpha Order while at Milsaps and USM and was elected to the KA Court of Honor in 1996. Also, he worked heavily with Boy Scouting and was a past member of the Boy Scout Executive Committee. Mr. Wellons remained extremely active in both of the communities of Columbia and Hattiesburg.

At the time of his death, Mr. Wellons was participating in a research study for potential treatments of A.L.S. Monthly flights took him to the University of Miami Medical Center for a Phase III trial of an experimental drug, BDNF (Brain Derived Neurotrophic Factor). There was and still is, promising evidence that this drug, at various dosages and, possibly, in combination with other neurotrophic factors, specifically Myotrophin. may control the progression of the disease and give others diagnosed with A.L.S. hope. Support for the ongoing research may be sent to:

ALS Association, 21021 Ventura Blvd., Suite 321, Woodland Hills, CA 91364 800-782-4747

It was his indomitable spirit and unquenchable zest for life that won John Wellons many friends and the admiration of nearly all he would meet. Through his too-numerous-to-count Grandma's laws, he espoused his cultural wisdom. Favorites like "its hard to go someplace you haven't ever been" or "change is a process that moves three degrees a second, any faster and you fall out of your chair" have been known to be heard over long meals at the Mexican Kitchen in Hattiesburg or Leatha's Barbecue Inn in Foxworth.

As a close friend wrote to him near the end of his life, John would be remembered to him as:

"An enthusiastic jet jockey: A loyal fraternity brother; a long time friend; an optimistic lover of life; a devoted family man; a successful business leader; and a caring, Episcopal Gentleman."

And as his son, I would add "a wonderful father ".
Contributor: Mona Hura - Find A Grave ID # 47044150 (email - [email protected])


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