John Bourdeaux ’63

John Bourdeaux '63

John W. Bourdeaux, 79, passed away Friday, October 9, 2020, at his home in Lecanto, Florida after an illness.

Born in Meridien, Mississippi and raised in Davidson, North Carolina, John was a graduate of the Blue Ridge School for Boys and, after service in the U.S. Army, a graduate of Davidson College.

John began his career in the building material and aggregate business, where he became an internationally known expert in the field. Beginning with Lehigh Cement and Martin Marietta, John became the CEO of North American operations for Blue Circle Inc.

While comfortable on a jet and at the opera, John deeply connected with smaller towns and the people who lived there. He ultimately relocated to Lecanto, where he owned and operated Sunshine Materials until his retirement.

While his professional accomplishments were impressive, John truly made a mark in his life with his desire to help others, rooted in his deep faith in Jesus Christ. Most recently, John led the Serving Our Savior (S.O.S.) food pantry ministry, which began as a ministry in 2004 of his home church, Shepherd of the Hills Episcopal Church.

At the beginning, the ministry served about 40 local families. Under John’s loving care, it grew to include 10 churches, serving hundreds of families each month. Additionally, John would befriend those in came to S.O.S., offering friendship, encouragement, and financial assistance for those in need.

While John always loved the stranger – who was never a stranger for long – he was also devoted to his family. John was always present at weddings, graduations, and family gatherings. He leaves behind a legacy of loving care for family, friends, and his community.

John is survived by his life partner, Gayle Wilder; his daughter, Anne Bourdeaux Estes and her stepchildren Madison and Camden; his son, John W. Bourdeaux Jr., his wife Suzanne, and their children John III and Rose; his sister, Margaret Bourdeaux Arbuckle, her husband Howard, and their children Elizabeth, Mathew, and Ada Adele; and his nieces Carolyn and Margaret, the daughters of his brother Bob and sister-in-law Jerry who both predeceased him. He is also survived by his former wife, Elaine Gettman Bourdeaux.

Memorial contributions can be made to S.O.S. Inc., PO Box 640774, Beverly Hills, FL  34464-0774.