Johns-Ridout's Funeral Parlors

2116 University Blvd, Birmingham, AL


Jack L. McKewen

Passed away on July 8, 2019

Jack Leard McKewen, Jr. of Birmingham passed away on July 8th, 2019 surrounded by his family.

Jack was born on February 9, 1947 in Birmingham, AL to Jack and Ruth (Peeples) McKewen. He graduated from Shades Valley High School in 1965 and obtained his degree in Industrial Engineering from the University of Alabama in 1969 while also lettering in football under Coach Bear Bryant. He married his loving wife of 49 years, Betty Bates, while getting his MBA from the University of Alabama. Jack was active in Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity. Following in his father's footsteps, Jack had a lifelong career in the life insurance industry. He was a lifetime member of the Million Dollar Round Table, served as President of the Alabama Chapter of CLU, and was a member of the Alabama Insurance Planning Commission of the University of Alabama. Jack was a member of the Beaux Arts Krewe Ball and the Monday Morning Quarterback Club.

Jack was passionate about sports, especially coaching and teaching youth the value of sportsmanship. He coached little league football for over 17 years, coached numerous of his daughters’ teams and served as commissioner of softball for many years. He was a dedicated husband, father and grandfather and spent most of his free time with his family in or near the water on the Gulf Coast, hiking and zip-lining in Mentone, and at his grandchildren’s sporting events all over the country (most recently at a grandson’s baseball tournament in Cooperstown, NY this past June). He enjoyed playing golf with his buddies in the Chiselers dogfight at the Country Club of Birmingham. Jack was known for his quick wit and tough persona. He courageously fought his battle with cancer and never complained. He served on the administrative board and was an active member of Canterbury United Methodist Church as well as his church in Cloudland, GA.

He is survived by his wife, Betty; three daughters: Betsy Byars (Will), Katie Smith (Doug), Ginny Paul (Bryan); seven grandchildren: Jack Smith, Alice Byars, Lula Byars, Reed Smith, Gigi Byars, Mary Addison Paul, Mack Paul; his twin sisters, Debby Ferguson (Bob) of Charleston, South Carolina and Peggy Kyzer of Anna Maria Island, Florida, as well as many nieces and nephews.

A memorial service will be held on Thursday, July 11th at 11:00 at Canterbury United Methodist Church. The family will receive friends at the church at 10:00. In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent to Canterbury United Methodist Church, 350 Overbrook Road, Birmingham, AL 35213 or to the Jack L. McKewen scholarship fund, University of Alabama, The Office of Advancement Services, G14 Rose Administration, Box 870101, Tuscaloosa, AL 35487


No services are scheduled at this time. Receive a notification when services are updated.


Jack L. McKewen

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