John Windham Profile Photo

John Windham

November 27, 1938 — February 5, 2024

John Windham

John B. Windham

Forest

 

John B. Windham, 85, passed away at his home on Monday, February 5, 2024, in Metairie, Louisiana, with his family by his side.  John was born November 27, 1938, in Homewood, Scott County, Mississippi, to the late John Elmer Windham and Esther Bruce Windham.

            John graduated from Forest High School, Scott County, Mississippi, in 1957. After graduating high school, he moved to New Orleans with his parents. When John was a young man, he began working with his father, a carpenter, traveling to different states to find work. During this time working as an apprentice to his father, he learned many valuable life skills. 

             John’s professional career began at the ground level with Winn Dixie Food Stores, stocking grocery shelves. While working at Winn Dixie, he enrolled at the New Orleans campus of Louisiana State University, where he studied Business Administration. At 22, he enlisted in the U.S. National Guard, proudly serving his community and country, completing his service over six years. During this time, he also met and married his wife of 61 years, Sheila Ann Lane. He soon began a full-time career with Winn Dixie, and through hard work and dedication, worked his way up through management. John was well respected among his peers and colleagues and was admired for his management style, mentoring, and leadership skills. He had a successful 43-year career with Winn Dixie until his retirement in 2001.

            After he retired, John spent much of his time at his property in Homewood, Mississippi. He enjoyed his time there, remodeling his childhood home and working on the land he knew and loved while growing up as a young boy. Over the years, he enjoyed watching his children and grandchildren enjoy the outdoors, fishing, hunting, and exploring the land as he did as a young boy.

            John had many interests, and whether it was learning about photography, computers, or genealogy, he would spend endless hours researching, learning, and perfecting his knowledge of the topic.  His love for history, family, and writing began as far back as 1965 when he began actively researching his family history, spending countless hours visiting cemeteries and libraries and reaching out to ancestors to compile accurate records of his family history. He wanted to ensure that his children and grandchildren knew who they were and the history of where they came from. He talked of his ancestors often and told countless stories of the family reunions he attended as a young boy. For 30 years, he also organized and conducted the yearly Windham reunion until seventeen years ago, when he turned it over to his son, who is proud to continue that legacy today.

            John’s love for his family was the center of who he was. His dedication to family is preserved in a book he compiled of The Windham Family History. The book includes 57 years of research that spans back to the 1400s.  In 2016, John also published a book about the history of the buildings in downtown Forest, Mississippi titled Forest Scott County Mississippi as It Was and As It Is. A feature of John’s work was published on the front page of the local newspaper in 2016. We will be forever grateful for the research and records John has written and documented for our family.

            John is preceded in death by his parents, John Elmer Windham and Esther Bruce Windham, brothers Raymond, Bernell, and Steven Windham, and his sisters, Edna Rebouche and Opal Keirsted.

            He is survived by his wife of 61 years, Sheila Ann Lane Windham; his son, Mark Windham (Lilly Allen) of Metairie, Louisiana; his daughter, Lisa Windham Cheramie; and her husband, Andrew of Dallas, Texas. As well as his two grandchildren, Hannah Cheramie Dow (Benjamin) and Luke Windham Cheramie. Through marriage, he is survived by his sisters-in-law Pam Lansing, Denise Lansing, Kim Bell, and Raymond Gibliant. Many nieces and nephews also survive him. 

            The family would also like to recognize and thank Vital Caring Group of Hammond, La., especially Leah Benoit and her Hospice Team, for their exceptional level of comfort, care, support, and professionalism during this difficult time.

In place of flowers, the family is requesting that donations be made to The Parkinson’s Foundation.

            As John requested, no funeral service will be held.  A private Life Gathering will be held at his home for family and friends.  A graveside service under the direction of OTT & LEE Funeral Home of Forest will be held at the Homewood Cemetery, in Homewood, MS on March 23, 2024, at 11a.m. 

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

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