John Wesley Wormack, Jr.
October 13, 1939 – April 12, 2022
On Tuesday, April 12, 2022, our beloved John Wormack, age 82, Olney, MD, transitioned leaving behind his loving and devoted wife, Janet, of 26 years, his loving daughter Karen, and his sisters Shirley Wormack, Joyce Wormack and his brother James (Kimberly), sister-in-law Lori Mazeas (Jean-Paul) and brother-in-law Reuben Pemberton, his nieces Pam, Rebekah, Leah, Rachel, and Micah Wormack, and Carey Samson and Viola Pemberton, and his nephew Jason, as well as many relatives and friends. A native of Cumberland, MD, he was a devoted husband, father, son and brother. He was a man of God and friend to many. He is preceded in death by his father and mother, John and Beatrice, his son Keith, his sister LeeRetta Wormack, and brother Jerry.
In lieu of flowers donations in his memory are suggested to Mount Calvary Baptist Church c/o Community Ministries at 608 N. Horners Lane, Rockville, MD 20850. Interment will be held at a later date with the family only.
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“A Prince Walked Among Us”
A Farewell to the Late Mr. John Wesley Wormack, Jr.
By Karen Elise Wormack
A Prince walked among us. John Wesley Wormack, Jr. was the first-born son of Beatrice (Kent) and her husband John Wesley Wormack, Sr. on October 13, 1939, in the historic city of Cumberland, Maryland. Brothers Jerry Wayne, James Warren and Sisters Shirley Ann, Lee Reta and Joyce Elise were also born into this union, all being raised by their very fine and well-respected Christian parents.
John’s mother Beatrice was a lovely, cherished, and hospitable homemaker. His father John Sr. provided for his family through lifelong employment with Baltimore & Ohio (B &O) railroad, retiring from this occupation. Moreover, Wormack, Sr. was fully immersed in community activities especially, the Civil Rights Movement, also becoming the first African American Commissioner for the City of Cumberland. It’s been more than fifty years and only one other person “like him” has served in this capacity.
John Jr. was affectionately known as “Johnny” by many people. He was a wonderful person and truly adored by his immediate family. Throughout his life, those he encountered were introduced to his genuine personality of graciousness, warmth, culture, elegance, style, humor, thoughtfulness, intelligence and love for God and people. John was consistently responsible, dependable, reliable, unselfish and generous. His very handwriting exhibited character and grace. John Wesley Wormack, Jr. was a real friend.
Growing up during the era of segregation John would always remember an important message from his father, “The folks are just as good as the people.” This memorable phrase was one of the guiding internal forces helping him succeed in his many lifelong endeavors, especially as a well-respected, world traveler with International Business Machines, serving in the capacity of IBM Auditor. This was John’s last professional career with formal retirement. He began such as a Computer Engineer, having received an excellent vocation in the field of computers and electronics from the Bendix Corporation, Teterboro, NJ.
John’s career with IBM spanned more than forty years and two states, including New Jersey and Maryland, as well as, increased domestic and passport travel, employment related destinations: including two visits to China, Singapore, South America, Mexico and Ireland. Although a man of modest notion pertaining to self, John Jr. was in fact a VIP, receiving numerous awards of recognition, including personally written letters from the IBM hierarchy for his excellence in corporate performance.
On the contrary, upon graduating from Fort Hill High School, in Cumberland, Maryland, John became a Military Man enlisting in the United States Navy. He was a Sailor serving aboard a US Naval Destroyer Ship. Among other duties, he was taught to load torpedoes. Fortunately for John, it was peace time, thus he never had to take responsibility for blowing up an enemy’s ship! But if called upon….that was his job! John’s very recruitment into the United States Navy was a sign of his earnest intent to overcome personal fears. He shared a story with his daughter about him almost succumbing to a drowning event while a teenager. John could not swim and yet was brave enough to spend a portion of his life on the vast oceans of the earth. Not only did he enjoy this career of service to country, John was also fascinated by the many Ports of Call his crew encountered and visited around the world.
Moreover, desirous of having his own family, while still a sailor, John married his sweetheart, Gloria “Cookie” M. Erwin at the tender age of twenty-one. “Cookie” who resided with her parents and siblings in Washington, DC then Newark, New Jersey, would visit her paternal grandparents in Cumberland, Maryland every summer. This is where she met and fell in love with “Johnny”. Her high school graduating yearbook tribute was dedicated to him. Keith Wesley and Karen Elise were born from this union. Upon being honorably discharged from the United States Navy, the family made their home in Newark, New Jersey. “Cookie” was a homemaker, professional seamstress and expert typist. In later years, this marriage came to an end. Nevertheless, although husband and wife’s relationship was broken, the love between father and his children was not. John was instrumental in helping to secure Keith’s employment with IBM. Keith loved following in his Dad’s footsteps, and also enlisted in the US Navy but found his greatest satisfaction as a United States Marine, rendering war time service in the Middle east country of Iraq during operation Desert Storm. John’s daughter Karen received her undergraduate and post graduate education, finding her greatest life’s work via Independent Book Publishing of
Children’s Literature and Works of Christian Inspiration. As a published Author, her father John was a stalworth, greatest fan and tremendous anchor pertaining to House of the Guilded Scribe, LLC, where she is President and he, a silent partner, Featuring: The Adventures of Prissy and Missy™, Original, Exciting and Sophisticated Children’s Book Series and Brand. John is portrayed wonderfully, as the United States International Space Station Commander, in her upcoming third publication, The Adventures of Prissy and Missy™, “Beyond Earth’s Sky to Mars”.
Additionally, John never lost his love for family, friends or people. He was a gregarious man yet private. One of his favorite routines was to drive to the local Seven 11 in Olney, for his favorite blend of decaffeinated coffee. John was also a wonderful confident and listener. He was baptized and raised in Ebenezer Baptist Church, Cumberland, Maryland during his early youth, which certainly helped shape his love, appreciation, education and understanding of the Lord God and world at large. John left this present realm clothed in Christ Jesus. Additionally, he served on the finance committee of Mount Calvary Baptist Church, Rockville, Maryland, for many years while attending Sunday Church service as often as he could. Through the years, John Jr. especially loved New Year’s Eve and Sunrise Resurrection Services held at Mount Calvary.
John yearned for love again, and thus, destiny would have him meet Janet Elaine Pemberton, a native of New Orleans, Louisiana, residing in Gaithersburg, Maryland. This initial courtship translated into marriage, of which John and Janet celebrated their twenty sixth wedding anniversary on March 30, 2022. Janet is well educated having pursued and earned her Doctorate Degree in Education, serving in various capacities as University Procurement Director, Senior Vice Chancellor and Senior Vice President of Administration and Finance. As a married couple, John and Janet enjoyed life and together they visited exciting and renowned global destinations.
Furthermore, twenty years after John received his first heart bypass surgery, (the Lord sparing him from his first cardiac arrest, as he spent time in Cumberland, Maryland, with his beloved mother Beatrice) John approached the twilight of his blessed years with medical complications. Nevertheless, one couldn’t perceive this from his outward appearance. John never looked his chronological age, always appeared well groomed, was serious but shared his smile, a kind word or waving of his hand, indicating “hello” or “goodbye”. John’s preeminent
Cardiologist, Dr. David Brill stated to the family prior to and after John’s demise that he was one of, if not his favorite patient and complimented John on his strength, perseverance, and positive attitude towards life, regardless of his medical condition, as well as John’s grace and endurance. Although he did not pass away inside a hospital, a hefty debt of love and gratitude is extended to Adventist Health, formerly of Takoma Park, Maryland with their sprawling new campus in White Oak, Maryland, for their medical expertise, medical advice, medical professionalism and dedicated medical patient care, especially as it pertains to our beloved deceased.
John had a precious giggle, laugh and grin. He was faithful in remembering birthdays with acknowledgement and gifts, was the family’s original Jingle Meister during the Christmas Holiday and was the Family Representative in years gone by for many relatives who passed away, wherever they may have lived. John also enjoyed various televised sporting events, especially golf with Tiger Woods. Shark Tank was certainly on the agenda when his daughter came to visit. One of John’s favorite sayings was “C’mon man!”
In closing, John Wesley Wormack, Jr. is predeceased by his loving parents, John and Beatrice, his son Keith Wesley, his brother Jerry Wayne and sister Lee Retta. He is survived in sorrow by his loving and cherished wife Janet Elaine, his loving and only daughter Karen Elise, beloved sisters Shirley Ann and Joyce Elise, beloved brother James Warren (Kimberly) beloved nieces Pamela Beatrice, Rebekah, Leah, Rachel and Micah, beloved nephew Jason Warren, (all Wormack’s), as well as sister-in-law Lori Mazeas (Jean-Paul), brother-in-law Reuben Pemberton, and Carey Samson and Viola Pemberton. John is also beloved and shall be missed by a host of other family and friends. Yes! A Prince has walked among us! Rest in Peace Sweet Prince. Fare Thee Well, Until we Meet Again With Tears of Joy and not Tears of Sorrow! And the Lord said in 1 Corinthians 2:9 “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man, the things which God has prepared for those who love Him.” Psalm 116:15 ”Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His Saints.” Job 1:21 “The Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away; blessed be the name of the Lord.” John11:25-26 Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life; he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live; and whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this? Yes! Lord Jesus Christ Savior Divine, John Wesley Wormack, Jr. and we Believe! Hallelujah! Amen!