John Alvin Mullinax, the King, the Chief, the Big Man, died peacefully on January 19, 2018, surrounded by his loud and loving family. He is finally reunited with his wife, Mary, as life without her was not worth his time or effort – a fact he did not hide during his long year and a half without her by his side.
John grew up in St. Joseph, MO, and attended Central High School, driving his rowdy friends around in his ’38 Chevrolet, before joining the Air Force. After serving his country from the Robert E. Lee Hotel in Kansas City, he attended the University of Illinois, where he was a member of the Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity. John received his Master of Accounting and returned to St Joseph, where he found himself falling head over heels in love with Mary, and decided it was time to grow up. Sort of. He started a family and began his career at Methodist Medical Center in a newly formed position charged to figure out Medicare, a perfect fit for a man who loved a good mystery.
John had three children, Melissa Archer (Robert), Amy Drouin (Jeremy) and Chris Mullinax (Cat Blankenship). He taught them the importance of family, a strong work ethic, financial stability, and to always wear a belt if you have belt loops. He loved his four grandchildren dearly: Maggie, Libby, Lily and Ben. He had the amazing ability to make each think they were in fact his favorite. The grandkids knew that even though they called him “Grumpa,” his grumpiness was just an act and they could each melt his heart with a smile.
John’s dedication to his family and career was enhanced by a never-ending stream of friends and gatherings. Whether it was a house full of kids and friends, or meeting the boys at Hawk’s/Norty’s/the Hi-Ho, people were drawn to John for his orneriness, intelligence, stories, and his ability to come up with a song for every occasion or name. John was adept in the fine art of debate, and practiced that art to the very end, much to the consternation of various nurses and aids.
John’s family will be toasting him at the Hi-Ho on February 10th at 1:00. All are welcome to stop by and share a story and a drink. In lieu of flowers, family requests contributions to the Audubon Society, the University of Illinois Scholarship Fund, or a charity of your choice.