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1944 John Robert Waddell 2024

John Robert Waddell

February 7, 1944 — June 30, 2024


John Robert Waddell was born on February 7, 1944, and left his earthly body on June 30, 2024, surrounded by his loving family.

A memorial service will be held on Wednesday, July 3, 2024, at 1:30 p.m. at Hillside Christian Church, Amarillo West Campus, 6100 S. Soncy, Amarillo, TX. John's body was donated to Texas Tech University to help advance medical studies. 

John was born to Vernon (Short) Waddell and Mary Ruth Waddell (Berry) in San Antonio, Texas. He was one of 6 children who grew up in a loving home in Amarillo, Texas. John’s family resided in several panhandle towns before landing in Amarillo, Texas, where he attended and graduated from Palo Duro High School in 1962. His graduation gift from his parents was an ironworker’s card, which started his career. He began his career and traveled to complete several ironworker jobs. His career took a backseat when, at 24 years of age, John was drafted into the United States Navy. On July 19, 1967, John enlisted as a SeaBee, where he was credited with constructing essential airfields, barracks, and bunkers to aid in the Vietnam War. He received a Letter of Commendation from his Commanding Officer, which read in part, “Your efforts in pre-cutting, which was a time-consuming effort, proved to be a key element in the completion of the airfield in record time.” During John’s service as a SeaBee, he was described as energetic, industrious, and able to know his trade thoroughly. Upon discharge, John continued his trade as an ironworker, credited with work on the Amistad Dam in Del Rio, Texas, the original Texas Stadium, Hemisphere Tower, and Cape Kennedy Launch Pad in Florida. After traveling the United States and working on many notable landmarks, John returned to Amarillo to continue his career in construction.

He married Melba Charlene Adams on September 24, 1983, and made Amarillo their home. John gained two stepsons whom he loved dearly, Todd and Heath. John loved his family and his precious dog Babe. John could often be found fishing in some nearby lake, down south, or in Mexico. He was an avid fisherman who shared his love of fishing with his grandchildren. He could often be heard saying, “I’ll catch the first fish, the biggest fish, and the last fish”! He taught all the grandchildren to play card games, most notably Hearts, Spades, and Texas Hold’em. John loved to travel. He would often decide to take a trip at the spur of the moment. He and Melba were always up for an adventure. John and Melba loved taking the grandchildren on adventures and made many memories that would last a lifetime. John believed in honor, honesty, and being available to anyone who needed help. 

He is preceded in death by his parents, his daughter Deedee Waddell, and his brother Kenny Waddell.

John is survived by his wife, Melba Waddell; stepsons Ray Todd Hughes and wife Carla and Heath Hughes and wife Donna; his sisters, Carolyn Waddell, Cathy Hudson and husband Roy, and Sherry Hall and husband David; his brother Brian Waddell and wife Renee; and numerous grandchildren, nieces, and nephews.

Memorials to Advo Companies, Inc. 5241 S. Washington, Amarillo, Texas 79110

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of John Robert Waddell, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Memorial Service

Wednesday, July 3, 2024

1:30 - 2:00 pm (Central time)

Hillside Christian Church - Amarillo West Campus (Amarillo)

6100 South Soncy Road, Amarillo, TX 79119

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