John Henry Weder was a beloved husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather, uncle, cousin, friend, athlete, veteran, coach to countless young men, dairy farmer and rancher. He passed from his earthly life on Friday, Jan. 1, 2021 at the age of 88 years after 54 days at Mercy Memorial Hospital in Ardmore, Okla. from long term dementia and complications due to COVID pneumonia. John will be remembered for his love of his family, his optimistic attitude and his hard work ethic.
John was born Nov. 8, 1932 in San Antonio, and was the middle child of the late Julius H. Weder and Edna M. Weder. He married the love of his life, Shirley G. Weder, in Madill, Okla. in 1957. They had two children, Tracy Moellers and Tod Weder.
He is survived by his loving wife of 63 years, Shirley Weder, daughter Tracy Moellers and husband Jeff of Tulsa, Okla., and son Tod Weder and wife Kim of Ardmore, Okla.; 11 grandchildren: Matthew Moellers and wife Murphy of Houston, John Moellers of New York City, Luke Moellers and fiancé Bailie Brown of Tulsa, Okla., Tyler Weder and wife Whitney of Ardmore, Okla., Tayler Weder of Ardmore, Okla., Torey Weder and significant other Ryan Lester of Ardmore, Okla., Tobey Weder and significant other Brandon Sheehy of Norman, Okla., Jared Lewis and wife Chelcee of Duncan, Okla., Lacrisha Gerner and husband Josh of Tulsa, Okla., Lacee Claxton and husband Keller of Ardmore, Okla., and Jesse Lewis of Ardmore, Okla.; 11 great-grandchildren: Edward and Mary Moellers, Lily and William Weder, Camden Adams, Halle Weder, Dayton Carr, Axel Lewis, Parker Gerner, Rylen and Wade Claxton. He is also survived by many nieces, nephews, and cousins.
He is preceded in death by his parents and two sisters, Margie Siebold and Elizabeth Alves.
John grew up in San Antonio. He attended Breckenridge High School, where he excelled in the classroom and athletics, graduating in the Class of 1949 at the age of 16. He was awarded a basketball scholarship to Southwest Texas State University in San Marcos where he lettered four years of not only basketball, but football as well. He was named an All-American football player for the Bobcats and was later named to the Dallas Morning News 1950s All Decade Team. In 2006, he was inducted into the Texas State Hall of Honor as a two-sport athlete. In 1954, upon graduating from SWTU with a BS & Master’s Degree at age 21, John enlisted in the Army and served his country during the Korean conflict in Germany as a helicopter mechanic for two years.
After completing his military service, he returned to Durant, Okla. where he became an assistant football coach for two years at Southeastern Oklahoma State University for head coach Melvin Brown. John then accepted the athletic director and head football coaching positions in East Bernard for four years leading the Brahmas to four winning seasons. His 1958 team went 12-1 losing in the state quarterfinals to the eventual state champion, Georgetown. His 1959 team went 9-1 losing in the district championship to eventual state champion, Katy.
John and Shirley moved back to Durant, Okla. in 1962 to care for Shirley’s elderly parents. In the fall of 1962, John started working for Mercantile Security Life out of Dallas, as a life insurance salesman gaining top sales honors for seven years in a row. Also, at this time, he found his love for land, cattle, and ranching, which he did for the next 50 plus years. In 2012, John and Shirley sold the ranch due to John’s oncoming dementia diagnosis. He lived the next five years at home with Shirley and enjoyed reading newspapers, watching westerns and all sports, and having his family over to visit. The last 15 months of his life were spent residing in the Ardmore Veterans Center where he continued to enjoy his life until his last 12 days of deteriorating health. John and Shirley were members of the Durant First Presbyterian Church. John was loved by all who met and knew him and will be greatly missed by everyone.
John leaves a legacy of his family, helping young boys become men, knowing no strangers, love for ranching, and his ability to tell a good story.
John will be cremated, and a memorial service will be held sometime this spring with the date, time and place to be determined later. In lieu of flowers, any memorial gifts or donations can be made to:
• Southeastern Oklahoma State University football program: 425 W. University Blvd, Durant, OK 74701
• Durant High School athletic department: 1323 Waco St., Durant, OK 74701
• East Bernard Texas High School football program: 723 College St., East Bernard, TX 77435
Cremation is made under the direction of Craddock Funeral Home – Ardmore, Okla.
Condolences can be made to www.craddockfuneralhome.com