John Edington McCown, 80 joined his Lord and Savior, December 14, 2018. He lost his battle with peritoneal mesothelioma cancer. John was born on June 18th, 1938 in Dumas, Arkansas to George Snell McCown and Gladys Edington McCown. In 1942, the family moved three miles south to the Pickens, Arkansas plantation where his father became Store Manager. John grew up enjoying that wonderful rural childhood and ultimately working at virtually job on the 14,000-acre plantation. Riding the school bus for 12 years, he attended and graduated from Dumas High School in 1956. After graduation, John enrolled in Ouachita Baptist College (now University) in Arkadelphia, Arkansas. There, John met his future wife, Sara O’Cain, on the first day of class of his freshman year. They married a year later and produced five wonderful children over the next seven years. When he graduated in 1960, with already two children and expecting their third, John bought his first car.
Through the ROTC Program, John immediately began his 20-year career as an Armor/Cavalry officer. He always felt that Uncle Sam had a proclivity of sending him to the farthermost fronts. His assignments ranged from the Czechoslovakian border in the early 1960s during the Cold War to the Demilitarized Zone in Vietnam at the height of that war. Over those years John’s military decorations included a Legion of Merit, two Bronze Star Medals, an Air Medal, two Meritorious Service Medals, two Army Commendation medals one with “V” device for valor, and the Purple Heart. Much of his last few active duty years were devoted to the development and fielding of the Abrams M-1 tank, its deadly ammunition, and the HELLFIRE missile system. After retiring from the Army as a Lieutenant Colonel in December of 1980, John began a second career of 21 years as an analyst and contract worker for several defense contractors supporting various programs for the Army, Air Force and Navy. His last few years his contractor support was working at the NASA Langley Research Center in Virginia. Shortly after his complete retirement, his wife, Sara, passed away. He remarried a couple of years later to Lila Lewis. In August of 2008, he persuaded Lila that they should move to his home state of Arkansas. They chose Hot Springs Village.
John was preceded in death by his first wife, Sara, his sister, Janis, his parents, another sister Jeanne, and a brother, George, Jr. He is survived by his wife, Lila, five children: Dawn Elizabeth Barnes of Gilbert, SC; Tana Haluska of Portland, OR; Julie McKercher of Lancaster, VA; John McCown Jr. of Richmond, VA; Porter McCown of Hampton, VA; six grandchildren; and five great grandchildren.
There will be a service in Hot Springs Village at Christ of the Hills United Methodist Church, at 700 Balearic Road at 1:00 p.m.on Thursday, December 20, 2018, officiated by Dr Walter (Bubba) Smith. Interment will be at Parklawn Memorial Park Hampton, Virginia In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to one’s favorite charity or to the Military Order of the Purple Heart.
Family thanks Arkansas Hospice along with CHI St Vincent hospice for their kind loving care given to John. These caregivers are angels from the Lord. Thanks