John Wesley McCracken died peacefully at his home at Possum Kingdom Lake, Texas, on May 13, 2019, after a courageous battle with lung cancer. Funeral services will be held Sunday, May 19, 2019, at 2:00 p.m. at the Chamber of Commerce at Possum Kingdom Lake. Burial will follow in McAdams Cemetery under the direction of Morrison Funeral Home.
John was the first of 3 children born to John George McCracken and Lucille Shackleford in Childress, Texas, October 25, 1940. John was born in Childress and raised primarily in Amarillo.
John spent much time in his youth earning his Honored Rank of an Eagle Scout in the Boy Scouts of America. He enjoyed camping, hiking, fishing and hunting. He continued to support the local Boy Scouts by helping them with improvements to their facilities.
John attended and graduated from Tascos High School in Amarillo, where he was active in sports. He was recruited and attended college at Garden City Community College, playing football. John worked with Leverne Tuttle, pouring concrete and building grain bins. While attending college, John met his life help mate, Jannet Lee Ballinger.
John was an outstanding football player. He was a tackle on the winning Garden City Community College football team of 1960-61. He was recruited by the Minnesota Vikings and visited and worked out at their training camp the summer of 1961. He soon returned home to say the pay was poor and his family was more important to him.
John and Jannet were married in Amarillo, TX, on January 21st, 1962. They lived in Amarillo for a short time while John worked with the railroad.
John and Jannet began their family in Garden City, Kansas, where John worked for and later became a partner of Triple S Steel Company. While living in Kansas, John and Jannet enjoyed bowling, boating on home-built boats, camping and fishing with their family and friends.
In 1980, John and Jannet moved their family to Possum Kingdom Lake, Texas. There they began the commercial businesses McCracken Construction Company, McCracken Boat Shop, McCracken Gas Dock, PK Industries, and Lakeview Lodge. They were founding members of the Possum Kingdom Lake Chamber of Commerce. Additionally, they were charter members of Hell's Gate Bass Club. John worked with the Texas Park and Wildlife creating fish habitats for Possum Kingdom Lake. John loved life on the lake and spent many hours fishing, boating, in his green house and at his beer garden, with his family and many great buddies.
John is survived by son Reese McCracken, Possum Kingdom Lake, TX, and daughters, Kimmi and husband Jeff Barker, Possum Kingdom Lake, TX, Mandy and husband Forest Atkins, Dallas, TX, Laurel McCracken and husband Darrell Green, Possum Kingdom Lake, TX, and Misty Hanson, Temple, OK.
Grandchildren, Jeffrey Barker and wife, Denjuami, Jordan Barker and wife Sarah, Hunter McCracken and Destiny Rosales, James Hanson and wife, Jessica, and Cane Hanson. Great-grandchildren, Jeffrey Dean Barker, Kalea Barker, Aspyn Barker, Ky Barker, Noah Hanson, April Hanson, James Hanson, Jr., Kailey Hanson and two more on the way.
Other survivors are his mother-in-law, Gladys Ballinger, sisters-in-law Judy Buchanan and Jean and Darrell Bryant; brothers-in-law Jerry and wife Carla Ballinger, Jimmy Ballinger, John Ballinger; many nieces, nephews and a multitude of friends and extended family.
John is preceded in death by his wife of 55 years Jannet, his younger brother Henry McCracken, younger sister Brenda Pearl, and his parents.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Possum Kingdom Lake Women's Auxiliary, P.O. Box 108, Graford, TX 76449.