John Wayne (Johnnie) Yancey was born on May 9, 1937 to Lonnie Elmer Sr and Myrtle Lola (Jackson) Yancey. He was born at home in Smithville, Texas. Johnnie was the 8th child of Lonnie and Myrtles’ 11 children. He is preceded in death by both of his parents and all his brother’s and sister’s (Lonnie Jr, Jack, George, June, Bobbie, JoAnn, Leah, Larry, Mary, and Jerry), and his Baby Girl Yancey.
He is survived by his wife Virginia Goebel Yancey of 38 years, his daughter’s Melisa Hickman and husband Wayne, Juanita Orsak and husband Robert, his son’s John Wayne Yancey II, Michael Spess and wife Kristi, and Stephen Spess and wife Cindy, and his niece that he considered to be a daughter Barbara Yancey Parmlee.
Johnnie loved his grandchildren and great grandchildren more than anything. He had 16 grandchildren, Jason Benedix and wife Megan; Walter Benedix II and wife Sara; Trey Benedix and wife Claudia; Shannon Joyner and Husband Brian; Tawna Beath and Husband Tyler; Donnie Orsak and wife Hailey; Nathan Hickman, Kenny Orsak, Keaton Yancey, Rhiannon Hayn, John Wayne Yancey III, Austin Yancey, and Olivia Yancey, Isabel Spess, Matthew Spess, and Ethan Spess.
He had 18 great grandchildren, Jacob, Jade, Cayla, Chloe, and Walter III Benedix, Jason Bradley Benedix, Logan, Grant, and Emma Brumley, Peyton and Hailey Joiner, Juan and Jayden Hurtado, Blaize Rhodes, Abigail and Connor Beath, and Jake and Cade Orsak who loved spending time with Pawpaw Yancey.
Johnnie was baptized into the Baptist faith at the First Baptist Church of Smithville.
Johnnie went to school in Smithville, he left school to join the Navy in 1955 and served 2 years. When he returned home, he went back to Smithville High School and finished his senior year.
In 1963, he and his family moved to Alaska and made their home on Raspberry Island off the Island of Kodiak. He found work as an electrical engineer for the King Crab Cannery. The family survived the Tsunami that hit Kodiak Island, Easter of 1964. They returned to Texas a few years later.
Eventually the family settled in Alum Creek. He bought 3 acres in Alum Creek from the Smithville School District on January 9th, 1970. He was so proud of the little piece of land. He loved to garden (fruits and vegetables), he loved raising pigs, geese, ducks, turkeys, and peacocks and many other animals.
He loved to fish (there wasn’t a watering hole around that he didn’t try to throw a fishing lure in) and loved to play Dominoes (mostly 42). He loved to dance especially a waltz or polka.
He spent most of his career working with heavy equipment until he received his certification from the University of A&M for aerobic system installations. He ended his career just a few years ago doing aerobics system maintenance.
John began his Masonic career in July of 1990 where he was raised into the WJ Nixon Lodge No 421 in December of 1991. He served as Worshipful Master in 1995-1996 and again in 2009-2010. In June 2004 John received the Golden Trowel award which was established by the Grand Lodge of Texas for the purpose of recognizing any Mason who has consistently demonstrated outstanding and exemplary service to the community. Upon his passing John was an active member who served
28.62 years in the Masonry. He was very proud and privileged to be a part of this organization.
John Wayne was well known around Bastrop County and will be missed by many.
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