John Benton Love (9/10/1947 - 6/30/2017)

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John Benton Love, 69, died Friday, June 30, 2017 in Tyler, Texas.

John was a lifelong educator and mentor to countless children and young adults. He traveled the world, appreciated its art and natural beauty, and loved the game of baseball.

He was born September 10, 1947, in Glen Allan, Mississippi, to Robert and Lillian Breazeale Love, both of whom preceded him in death. He was a graduate of Greenville High School and received his Ph.D in Educational Psychology from Mississippi State University. He also proudly served as a Second Lieutenant in the Mississippi Army National Guard.

John's career in education spanned various levels. In Mississippi, he served at the secondary level as an art teacher, varsity coach, and principal. In Tyler, John spent over a decade as principal of Douglas and Andy Woods Elementary Schools. He took a brief sabbatical from school administration in the 1990s to serve as the first director of the Discovery Science Place in Tyler. In that position, he oversaw the museum's creation and personally built many of the exhibits on display today. He later returned to academics and served as a college professor at Southeastern Oklahoma State University and Jarvis Christian College. He devoted recent years to his craft as an artist, drawing inspiration and guidance from his friend, Mississippi painter Sammy Britt. He recently retired to Mount Vernon, Texas, where he was affiliated with the Franklin County Historical Society and the Franklin County Arts Alliance.

Survivors include his beloved Sandra Love, of Tyler; and children, Christopher Love and wife Leighanne, of McKinney, Elissa Love and husband Aaron Hevle, of Houston, and Ben Love and wife Megan, of Brooklyn, New York; a brother, Robert Love, of North Carolina; sisters, Betty Goodson, of Arkansas, and Linda Philhower, of Mount Vernon, Texas; grandchildren, Russell Welton, Gray and Alison Hevle, Harper, August and Quentin Love, and Morgan and Niu Niu Love.

A visitation will be held on Friday, July 14, 2017, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at Jackson's Burks-Walker-Tippit Funeral Home in Tyler, Texas. All are welcome. In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to the Discovery Science Place in Tyler, Texas, or Champions for Children.

The children extend a warm appreciation to the providers and staff at Trinity Mother Frances Hospital, Trinity Mother Frances Gastroenterology Services, and Habte Yimer MD and his colleagues at Texas Oncology for the exceptional care provided to their father.
Funeral Home
Burks-Walker-Tippitt Funeral Directors - Tyler
215 E. Front St. 0
Tyler, TX 75702
(903) 592-6553
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Published in Tyler Morning Telegraph on July 9, 2017