Sun, July 1, 2012 7:42:02 AM
In Memoriam - John W. Naylor Jr., Tech Coach, English, Government and Mathematics Teahcer
From: al s
To: al slayton
John W. Naylor Jr. (1931 - 2012)
John W. Naylor Jr., a championship high school football coach who loved great games, great books and great laughs, died Thursday, June 28, 2012, in Fort Worth.
He was 81.
Memorial service: 1:30 p.m. Monday at Greenwood Funeral Home, 3100 White Settlement Road, Fort Worth.
Bud Kennedy and Rev. Kyev Tatum will officiate.
Memorial Visitation: 3 to 5 p.m. Sunday at Greenwood Funeral Home.
Memorials: Donations in John's memory may be made to Trimble Tech Brilliant Bulldog Center, 1003 West Cannon St., Alumni Room 111, Fort Worth, Texas 76104.
John was born Feb. 13, 1931, in Fort Worth to Pauline and John W. Naylor, both editors at the Star-Telegram. With a family home filled with books, he learned to read at an early age. His love of reading lasted a lifetime, bringing a storyteller's sense of drama and humor to both the football field and the classroom.
He graduated from Arlington Heights High School in 1948 and the University of Texas in 1953, playing on the football teams at both schools. He served in the U.S. Marine Corps for two years, including Officer Candidate School at Quantico, Va. As a coach and teacher for more than 40 years, John Naylor led teams that repeatedly overcame long odds to win, and he brought the same never-quit spirit to the classroom as a devoted teacher of English, government and mathematics.
He loved coaching fast-paced football offense, and his high-scoring Trimble Tech teams of the 1980s brought high school football glory to Fort Worth. When he started there, Tech did not have a practice field, but he built a solid program, instilled pride in the students who came from working-class neighborhoods all over Fort Worth, and brought the players together as a team, overcoming the tensions of the 1960s and 70s. In 2011, the Trimble Tech fieldhouse was named for him. Other coaching jobs took him to several Fort Worth area high schools, including Arlington Heights, Castleberry, Diamond Hill Jarvis and Paschal, and two Dallas area high schools, Highland Park and Lake Highlands. In addition, he scouted briefly for the early-day Dallas Cowboys.
He not only wrote book reviews for the Star-Telegram, but also displayed his mastery of humorous storytelling with a series of letters in the 1960s to Star-Telegram columnist Elston Brooks. With his quick mind and widespread knowledge, he could easily discuss British literature, world history or the laws of probability, but he would rather talk about why Texas lost the 1951 Cotton Bowl game to Tennessee - a game in which he played, or all the times Trimble Tech opened with a big touchdown pass on the first play.
John was a passionate man with many interests. He was a lifelong fan of the New York Yankees Baseball Club and a crossword puzzle aficionado, timing his completion of The New York Times puzzle daily. On his many trips to New York City, he enjoyed attending the Metropolitan Opera. He had many soft spots in his heart, but there was one special place just for his cats.
Survivors: He is survived by his beloved wife, Karen L. Johnston, whom he affectionately called his childhood sweetheart even though they did not know one another as children. He also is survived by his dear children: June G. Naylor of Fort Worth; John W. Naylor III and wife, Kelli Naylor, of Fort Worth; Jennifer Naylor Backover and husband, Andrew Backover, of Dallas; Jacqueline M. Hundt and husband, Greggory M. Hundt, of Clemmons, N.C. Also surviving, favorite nephew, Bennett Roberts and wife, Noel, and their daughter, Ellie, of Houston. His grandchildren, Jordan and Madison Naylor, Maxwell Backover, and Davis and Wilson Hundt, brought him much delight.
Published in Star-Telegram on July 1, 2012
On-Line Guest Book http://www.legacy.com/guestbook/dfw/guestbook.aspx?n=john-naylor&pid=158293685&cid=full
photo from the Star-Telegram Obituary Section: