John William Pike Sr., 85, of Carbon Hill, passed away Saturday, May 21, 2022, at his residence.
Family will be receiving friends Tuesday, May 24, 2022, from noon until 2 p.m. at Kilgore-Green Funeral Home. Services will follow at 2 p.m., in the Kilgore-Green Chapel, with burial at Pocahontas Baptist Cemetery. Roger Houston will officiate.
John William Pike was born July 20, 1936 in Townley, the first born child of Ollie and Joy Pike. Six years later, his brother, Karrol, completed their family. John grew up in Pocahontas and lived in his endeared community with family and friends until the end of his days. As a young man, John was fun-loving, kind, hard-working, and a straight talker. He is remembered by long time family and friends as always trying to help other people.
John met his wife, Ruby, in his early twenties. After dating 13 months, John married his beloved Ruby and they shared a beautiful love and marriage of what would have been 64 years this coming August 23, 2022. John and Ruby had three treasured children within a span of four years: Terri, John Jr. and Chris. It has to be said that first and foremost, John was a family man. He loved his wife and children with all his heart and looked forward to summers and holidays so he could spend more time with them at home as well as in fun, recreational activities. These included boating, camping, and water skiing on Smith Lake, going to the beach to swim in the surf, to catch blue crabs to cook and eat, and gather sand dollars from the ocean floor for his children. Amusement parks, state fairs, as well as frequent trips to Houston and Galveston to visit his special cousin Peggy (who was more like a close sister), her kind and loving husband, Jerry, and their children and later grandchildren.
John also was very committed and supportive in teaching his children to honor and respect their mother, Ruby, and others. He often worked two jobs to provide for his family and to make sure they had all they needed including a quality education. As the years progressed and John's family grew, and like most adoring grandparents, John enjoyed spending fun, playful time with his six precious grandchildren: Adam, Landon, Leah, Jared, Nathan, and Will. He loved cooking a delicious homemade spaghetti dinner for his family. One little grandson would say, "Granddaddy, your spaghetti is so good. You should open a restaurant." In John's final years, he was blessed to experience the absolute joy of being Papa John to his six (soon to be seven) great-grandchildren: Carter, Mary Elle, Harper, Madeline, Asher, and Emmy.
John worked several jobs during his lifetime including a brief employment at Flint, Michigan for General Motors prior to marriage. He returned home to Alabama, started his family, and worked as an electrician in early years at Hayes Aircraft and as an Alabama Power ground man. Due to the economy, John, Ruby, and their two small children, Terri and Johnny, moved to Chicago to find work. He worked at a manufacturing company making golf clubs. It was in Chicago that John and Ruby welcomed their third child and second son, Chris, with love and enthusiasm. Their family was complete. After a few years and after the news that beautiful Smith Lake had been completed and was open for public enjoyment, John was enticed to bring his family back home to Walker County where both he and Ruby found work. John worked for Burton Manufacturing. Later he trained and earned certification as a foreman in welding and blue printing and was able to use that skill set in his job at Pittsburg Des Moines Steel in Birmingham. He also started his own business as a self-employed welder. Later John worked for Drummond Coal Company and finished his working career as the Supervisor for the coal washer at Short Creek.
During the course of his life, some of John's favorite activities included deer hunting with his family and friends locally and with his cousin Jerry in Texas. He liked playing Solitaire on his tablet as well as reading and keeping up with current events. John loved his country, state, and community, especially his home community in Pocahontas. John enjoyed canvasing maps while locating where his children and later grandchildren were on business and recreational trips.
During John and Ruby's retirement years, John and Ruby loved traveling in their RV to all fifty states except for Alaska: they had to cancel their cruise to Alaska due to the beginning of John's health issues. Their happy travels together to name a few included: visiting Maine in the fall when the foliage was in full color, watching the 'Buffalo Roundup' in South Dakota, visiting the beautiful shores of Oregon, seeing the tall Sequoia trees in California, watching Old Faithful in Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming, and last, but not least... frequent trips to Alabama's beautiful Gulf Coast.
John's life was one well-lived. He cherished his entire family and his family cherished him. He was a generous man and tried to care for and help those in need. He was an honest, wise man that lived by integrity. Yes, he could be a straight talker, but he genuinely loved visiting and conversing with people, not only those he loved, but also with friends and new acquaintances. He loved to laugh and have a little fun with you. He was not a man to speak ill of others. He modeled and taught his children to stay out of other people's business. Gossip was never allowed in the Pike household... never. The last great thing John did was to accept Jesus as his personal Savior. Yes, John's life was a life well-lived. He will be sorely missed by his family and friends, but there is joy in knowing we will all be together again in Heaven one day.
He was preceded in death by his granddaughter, Laurel Elizabeth Pike; parents, Ollie Pike and Joy Pike; brother, Karrol Pike; grandparents, John F. and Mary Catherine Love and William “Billy” and Pearl Pike; in-laws, Carlos Crump and Eunice Crump.
He is survived by his loving wife of 63 years, Ruby Crump Pike; daughter, Terri Pike Miles (Gregg); sons, John Pike Jr. and Chris Pike; grandchildren, Adam Miles (Mallory), Landon Miles (Megan), Jared Miles (Hillary), Leah P. Kirkpatrick (Wes), Nathan Pike and Will Pike; great-grandchildren, Carter, Mary Elle, Harper, Madeline, Asher, and Emmy; special cousin, Peggy Stone (Jerry) and a host of nieces, nephews and friends.
Pallbearers will be Adam Miles, Landon Miles, Jared Miles, Nathan Pike, Will Pike, Michael Pike and Jerry Stone.
Kilgore-Green Funeral Home, Jasper; 205-384-9503