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Roll Call Tribute

John Dewald '55 October 17, 2023 12:53 PM updated: October 17, 2023 1:03 PM

John Paul Dewald 
April 2, 1934 - September 6, 2023 

John Paul Dewald, 89, died September 6, 2023, after a long and courageous fight with Lewy Body Dementia. He was born April 2, 1934 in Mission TX, and was predeceased by his father John P. Dewald and mother Vivian Meador Dewald, and his sister Jerine Dewald Jones.

He is survived by his loving wife of 65 years, Susan K. Dewald, his son Jack (Beth) Dewald and their children JP and Josh, and his daughter Anne (Mike) Quesnell and their children Hannah (Nick) Brady, Luke Quesnell and Andrew Quesnell.

He graduated from Mission TX High School in 1951 where he was class president his senior year. A 1955 graduate of Texas A&M University, he was a member of the Corp of Cadets and served as Corp Commander his senior year. After graduating from Texas A&M, he served his Nation in The United States Air Force, and was an instructor pilot and flew one of the early jets used by the USAF, the F86-D.

His wife Sue and he met on a blind date while she was student at SMU, and he was a young Air Force pilot. He used to arrange “training flights” from his base to Dallas where Sue was at SMU! They fell quickly in love and were married in 1958. They first lived in St Louis MO where he joined Wagner Electric as a salesman. In 1959, they were transferred to Memphis TN, and by 1963 he decided a corporate job was not in his future and struck out on what would become a highly successful 30-year career in the insurance business. He founded Agency Services, Inc. (ASI) where he and Sue worked together. As their family grew, so did their business. ASI went on to become a regional powerhouse wholesale distributor of life, health and Medicare insurance products. In 1994, John retired and sold his firm to his son, Jack.

While John was a loving & devoted husband, father and grandfather, as well as a driven and highly successful businessman, he was best known for his Love of Jesus Christ and lifetime of sacrificial giving of his time, talent and treasure. Memphis TN is better because of things John was involved in. He served as President or Chairman of each of the following: Memphis Life Underwriters Association; Tennessee Life Underwriters Association: Memphis CLU/ChFC Chapter; Memphis/Shelby County 911 Emergency Board; Christian Phycological Center; Briarcrest Athletic Booster Club, Memphis Youth for Christ (now JIFF); and Shelby County NOFAS. He served as a mentor in the Memphis Minority Business Council and volunteered in dozens of other ministries and organizations in the mid-south. He was inducted into the both the Memphis and Tennessee Insurance Halls of Fame.

His two favorite places of service were at Second Presbyterian Church, where he served as Elder and Clerk of the Session. Later in life, he was named Emeritus Elder in recognition of his efforts in helping lead many of 2PC’s church planting efforts, including St Patrick Presbyterian, Esperanza Church (SuCasa), Downtown Church, and All Saints Presbyterian Church. His other love was the Salvation Army of Memphis, where he served as Board Chairman during the pivotal years of fund raising which enabled the construction of the Kroc Center, now a beacon of hope and health for the entire Memphis community.

John & Sue traveled the world extensively, often visiting their daughter Anne and her family, who lived in Vienna & Prague for many years. He enjoyed golf and was a competitive handball player for over 50 years. He and Sue loved their “river retreat” on the Spring River in Hardy, AR and spent many happy days there visiting, fishing and canoeing with family and friends. He maintained his love of flying and owned numerous aircraft for both personal and business purposes over the years.

He leaves many nieces and nephews and countless friends who knew him as a man of deep faith, dedicated and committed friendships, and a limitless amount time to listen and help others.

The family wishes to thank the loving staff at The Village of Germantown, especially those in the Memory Care Unit.

Services will be on Wednesday, September 13th at Second Presbyterian Church. The family will receive visitors from 1:00 p.m. – 2:30 p.m., and the Memorial Service will begin at 2:30 p.m.

Memorials may be sent to The Salvation Army of Memphis, 696 Jackson Avenue, Memphis TN 38105 or Second Presbyterian Church, 4055 Poplar Avenue, Memphis TN 38111.


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