Loy Awbrey Jr.

Loy Awbrey, Jr. was born in Magnolia, Arkansas on October 22, 1938, and he left us and entered heaven on April 1, 2024. A most appropriate day for a man with John’s sense of humor.

He is survived by his wife, Diane and her children Patrick Vaught (Becky), Jennifer Nyholm McDonough (Brendan) and Daniel Nyholm. Also, his daughters Tammy Awbrey, Tina Awbrey Smith (Mike), Teresa Awbrey Lee (Rick) and their mother, Vicki Gillett (Mike). And many loving extended family members and friends from all walks of life.

John never knew a stranger. He was – as some of you knew – always “Finer than frog hair split 3 ways”. Not sure I could count on one hand the number of times during our almost 27 years of marriage that he was “angry”. He was a 20-year Air Force veteran, a 20-year Lockheed Martin retiree, worked part time at Universal Studios driving boats and part time at Enterprise driving vehicles from one location to another. He was not a man to sit and let life pass him by. Until dementia took over his life in 2020. But until that time, he enjoyed life and was the most generous man I think I ever met.

He loved God, his family, his friends, softball, golf, fishing, riding his Harley, yard sales and dancing!! Yes, he danced his way into my heart when we met in 1994 and from then on, we danced about anywhere there was to dance. And we met the most amazing people all the places we danced. From Sullivans on OBT to Winter Park Elks and everywhere in between. He was a true Southerner – sweet tea, corn bread and Blue Bell ice cream. He was very active in the Baptist church early on and helped rebuild Sky Lake Baptist church when it burned some years ago. And when we married and joined Journey Christian church in Apopka he was a greeter who could be heard greeting people in the parking lot – “Hey, how you doin’!” every Sunday.

Until covid hit in 2020 and churches went “online” and he was not an “online” guy. After that he rarely went to church. But he was a man of God and you knew that by how he lived. That was also the year that dementia changed our lives. He was always helping others – “love your neighbor” – he proved that anytime someone needed help. No matter what or who or when- he was there. One of his favorite things to do when not watching westerns on tv was to search for golf balls on the golf course where we live. Don’t even ask how many he had! Or where I have found them!

Dementia – the long goodbye – and yes, it is truly that. The one good thing about John’s dementia is that he didn’t know he had dementia. He lived in his own world and the rest of us had to adjust. He struggled for about 4 years but the past two were the most difficult. Dementia is all they say it is and more. We met some God filled; Spirit filled people on this journey. God always makes something good – kind of like the rainbow after the storm. Or a birdie on a hard par 4 on the golf course. I know he is at peace in the Presence of the Lord and that brings me peace. And knowing he’s teaching everyone about how fine a frog hair really is makes me smile. Please remember him as the kind, laughing, generous God filled man he was and smile too.

A celebration of Life will be held on April 28, at 2:00 p.m. at Casselberry Recreation Center, located at 200 N. Triplet Lake Dr. in Casselberry.

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