John Sharp Dewhirst was born March 25, 1930 and went to be with his Lord and Savior on August 28, 2017. He is preceded in death by his First Love of nearly 49 years, Carolyn Dewhirst; father, Thornton; mother, Gladys; siblings, Bobby and Alice; and son-in-law, Jerry Dale. He is survived by his Second Love of almost 9 years, Elisa Dewhirst; his children, John H. Dewhirst and wife Edna, Laurie Dale-Hovis and husband Phillip, Jim Dewhirst and wife Donna; grandchildren Bryan Dale, Chris Dale and wife Sara, Missy Dale, Lyndsay Witham and husband Joey, Lisa Grumboski and husband Jeff, Dena Clark and husband Daniel; great-grandchildren Kailey Anthony, Caiden Dale, Tyler Dale, Tatym Dale, Sharpe Grumboski, Evan Dale, Graham Grumboski, Emmie Witham, Jad Witham, John Benjamin Witham; and great-great grandchild Eden Anthony. Through his marriage to his bridge-playing Sweetheart, Elisa, John gained more children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren.
John was born in Astoria and reared in Garden City, NY. “The Mississippi Killer” spent childhood summers on his grandparents’ farm picking cotton and playing with his cousins. At 10 years old, John created his own baseball team – the Garden City Royals. John attended Oklahoma A&M University on baseball scholarship as catcher where he fell in love with Carolyn Vesta Skinner. They were given to each other in marriage on January 25, 1953 until death parted them in August of 2001. Upon graduation, John signed a contract with the New York Giants and played semi-pro ball for 2 years before bowing out due to an ankle injury. John served our country in the Korean War and Army Reserve until his military retirement in 1990. He coached Varsity Baseball at Southeast High School for 21 years, serving as Head Coach for 18 years. Prior to retirement, he accepted an Assistant Principal position at Western Heights High School where he served for 4 1/2 years. Three decades after "Dewey" retired, students were still turning around to ask Coach for swats from ‘the lanyard’ that turned boys into men. John was an active and faithful member of Olivet Baptist Church, participating in many church programs. John loved baseball, Oklahoma State, fishing trips in Alaska, skiing, board games, card games, road trips in the Minnie Winnie, and second only to his love for the Lord, spending time with his family. He leaves behind an incredible legacy.
In lieu of flowers, please send gifts to Olivet Baptist Church. A viewing will be held with family present from 12:00PM-8:00PM on Monday, September 4th at Resthaven Funeral Home (500 SW 104th St, Oklahoma City, OK 73139). Funeral services will begin at 2:00PM on Tuesday, September 5th at Olivet Baptist Church (1201 NW 10th St, Oklahoma City, OK 73106). Interment at Resthaven Memory Gardens to follow.
Many family members will wear orange to honor John's love for Oklahoma State. Others may want to wear blue to honor his tenure at Southeast High School. Come dressed as you’d like. 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18