John Millard Jeffs, Lt. Col., U.S. Army (Retired), 78, of Morgantown, passed away Sunday, Sept. 30, 2012, at his home.
John was born March 29, 1934, in Kent, to the now late Newell John and Gladys (Martin) Jeffs. During his childhood, his family moved from farm to farm following available work. He often attended several schools in a single year. When his mother insisted that they settle down, they did so in Lebanon. There John attended Lindbergh grade school and the city’s junior and senior high schools.
In high school he was a drummer in the Tiger Band and lettered in football. John enjoyed telling his family that the game he played was in leather helmets with no facemasks. Cuts, bruises and concussions were frequent, adding that his first play resulted in a collision that knocked both him and the other team’s player unconscious.
John declined a scholarship to play in college, enlisting in the Indiana National Guard after his graduation from Lebanon High School in 1952. Training first in artillery and then finance, his career included service as commanding officer of units at the Lebanon and Tyndall Armories, aide to the Indiana Adjutant General, deputy commander for Camp Atterbury, and Supervisor Auditor for Internal Review, United States Property and Fiscal Office overseeing resources of the Indiana National Guard. John retired after 30 years, with the rank of lieutenant colonel.
He owned a laundry and dry cleaning business in Greenfield, and was a courier for Special Dispatch in Indianapolis.
John married Diane Rhode on July 4, 1999. She and John’s brother, Wallace Jeffs (Bettye) of Nineveh, survive.
He is also survived by children from a previous marriage to the former Nancy Newkirk Jeffs. They are Robt. (Alma), Tom (Heidi), Joe (Sandi), all from Indiana, and Ryan (Erin Benson) and Lisa (Eric) Titmas from Arizona. He leaves eight grandchildren, Angela, Amy, John, Anne, Allie, Kelsey, Geoff and Becky; and nine great-grandchildren, James, Daniel, Robt., Michael, Mary, Katelyn, Adam, Marcus and Lucas.
In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his infant brother, Roger James Jeffs.
Family and friends will gather for a celebration of John’s life from 1 to 3 p.m. Friday, Oct. 5, at Meredith-Clark Funeral Home Cremation & Personalization Center, 179 E. Mulberry Street, Morgantown, with a memorial service at 3 p.m., conducted by the Rev. Wallace Jeffs. Military rites will be presented by the Martinsville American Legion & Veterans of Foreign Wars Honor Guards.
In lieu of flowers, the Jeffs family request memorial donations to be sent in honor of John to the Indiana National Guard “Relief Fund,” 55 Monument Circle, Suite 800, Indianapolis, IN 46204.
Online condolences can be made at www.meredith-clark.com.