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John Nesbit Grace, Jr.

December 14, 1921 September 16, 2019
John Nesbit Grace, Jr.
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Obituary for John Nesbit Grace, Jr.

John Nesbit Grace, Jr.
December 14, 1921 – September 16, 2019
John Nesbit Grace, Jr. passed away on September 16, 2019 at the age of 97.
He was born December 14, 1921 in New Albany, Mississippi to Nesbit and Ruby Ferguson Grace.
John is survived by his wife of 49 years, Shirley, who was his soulmate and constant companion as they traveled the country and enjoyed Mississippi State University sporting events together, especially baseball as season ticket holders. Also surviving him are his children Jud Grace (Barby), Paula Melerine (Burton), and Tracy Abernathy. His son John Jebson predeceased him. “Papa” John leaves behind him grandchildren and great grandchildren whom he loved and was loved deeply in return.
John was a proud Marine Corps World War II veteran in the Pacific Theater serving in the Recon Company of the 6th Division and saw combat at several islands including the first wave at Okinawa on Easter morning.
He obtained a Bachelor degree in Social Studies and Master’s degree in School Administration from Mississippi State University finishing in 1950. He was selected for Who’s Who and served on Student Council.
John coached and taught at East Central Junior College from 1949 to 1954. There he was Athletic Director, Head Football and Baseball Coach.
He joined Mississippi Farm Bureau in 1954 where he worked as the legislative affairs director until his retirement. He also served as Public Affairs Vice President at Merchant and Farmers Bank in Helena, Arkansas from 1965-1968.
His various activities and honors included lettering 3 years in varsity baseball and football at Mississippi State with selection to the 1948 All-SEC baseball team as left fielder hitting .375. The 1948 team was the first SEC championship baseball team at Mississippi State University. He served as President of the “M” Club in 1976. John was inducted in 1999 to the Mississippi State Athletic Hall of Fame.
He was especially proud of his twenty two year career as a SEC football official serving as a Back Judge. He called three National Championships, multiple bowl games, and made lifelong friendships.
John had a passion for watching sports, reading, nice clothes (very particular), animals, dancing, lively conversation, and good company. He was a good Christian man who possessed strong character with great loyalty to family and friends. “Coach” Johnny was a man’s man and patriot, citizen, and be missed greatly by many.
Visitation will begin at 10:00 a.m. followed by the memorial service at 11:00 a.m. on Thursday, September 19, 2019 at Pear Orchard Presbyterian Church, where he and Shirley were active members.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorials be made to the Building Fund at Pear Orchard Presbyterian Church, 750 S. Pear Orchard Rd., Ridgeland, MS 39157 or to a favorite charity.

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Previous Events

Visitation

Thursday

19

Sep

10:00 AM 9/19/2019 10:00:00 AM
Pear Orchard Presbyterian Church

750 S Pear Orchard Rd,
Ridgeland, MS 39157

Pear Orchard Presbyterian Church
750 S Pear Orchard Rd, Ridgeland 39157 MS
United States

Service

Thursday

19

Sep

11:00 AM 9/19/2019 11:00:00 AM
Pear Orchard Presbyterian Church

750 S Pear Orchard Rd,
Ridgeland, MS 39157

Pear Orchard Presbyterian Church
750 S Pear Orchard Rd, Ridgeland 39157 MS
United States

Memorial Contribution

Pear Orchard Presbyterian Church

750 S Pear Orchard Rd,
Ridgeland, MS 39157
In Lieu of Flowers, please.
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