John R. "Jack" Deedrick

April 30, 1922March 5, 2018
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John Richard Deedrick

Jack Deedrick passed away at age 95 on Monday, March 5. He was born in Marietta OH 4/30/1922. He grew up in Gary IN where he graduated from Horace Mann High School in 1940. He attended the University of Toledo before going in the Air Force in 1942. He went through pilot training and received his wings in 1944. After WW II, he attended Earlham College in Richmond IN and Florida Southern College. He played basketball at FL Southern and received his BS there. He later earned a Master’s in Education from the University of Florida. He began his teaching career at Lakeland Jr-Sr High School, later transferring to Winter Haven High School where he taught and coached basketball for 30 years. He retired in 1983 but continued to substitute teach for 17 years. He was an emeritus member of the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) and attended the Final 4 Basketball tournament for over 40 years. He served on the FL Athletic Coaches Association Board of Directors for many years. He was Florida Coach of the Year in 1973. He was also Coach of the Year for the SE United States and runner up for National Coach of the Year. In 1971, the WHHS basketball team lost a semi-final game in the State Tournament after 7 overtimes. Sports Illustrated determined this was a national record for State Tournament play at that time. The team won the state championship in 1973. Deedrick spent a number of summers doing missionary work in Jamaica, Trinidad and Guyana. In Guyana, the church named their youth building after him. WHHS also named their new gym, the Jack Deedrick Gymnasium. Jack married Betty Lou Bartley August 31, 1945. They were happily married for 62 years until her death in 2013. He is survived by 2 sons and 2 daughters. Mark (Vikki) Deedrick of Winter Haven FL, Marcia (Thomas) Higgins of Alachua FL, Gary (Beverly) Deedrick of Taylors SC and Gail (Jim) Packett of Durham NC. He adored his six grandchildren Kristopher Abernathy, Robbie Rogers, Brooke Rogers-Foote, Brittany Jackson, Jon Deedrick and Brent Deedrick and his 9 great grandchildren. Deedrick is a member of Central Baptist Church. In lieu of flowers, he requests a donation be made to the Central Baptist Church Mission Fund. Visitation is scheduled from 5:00 – 7:00 p.m. Friday evening at the Central Baptist Church in Winter Haven. The funeral service will be Saturday morning at 10:00 at Central Baptist with burial to follow at Lakeside Cemetery.


  • Visitation Friday, March 9, 2018
  • Funeral Service Saturday, March 10, 2018

John R. "Jack" Deedrick

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Brian Moore

March 16, 2018

I am sorry to hear about your loss. May the hope found at John 5: 28, 29 bring you comfort during this difficult time.

Dan and Laurie Elliott

March 10, 2018

How very appropriate that the tribute movie would begin with the poem "The Road Less Traveled ". We joked with Jack & Betty about that being them. During their summers here in NH they would follow every such road. Once Jack even drove them out onto what turned into a snow machine trail! Betty got out of the car and waited for him to get turned around and out of there! They loved their times spent here, roughing it in the White Mountains. Rob, do you remember our camping trip, the pouring rain, how we found you all laughing in that leaking tent with an umbrella up? They enjoyed bringing their grandsons Rob and Chris up and spending quality time with them. Our memories are many and precious. I still have pages of Betty's handwritten scores for years of Skip-Bo and domino games we played. Their Christian testimony spoke volumes and we are confident that we will see them again in Glory. As much as we love and miss them, when we think of where they are, and the sights they are seeing as they walk with the LORD, we couldn't wish them back. Until we're all together again, we love you.

Mary Houston Hoyle

March 9, 2018

Coach taught me to drive. He always said we we're the reason his hair turned grey eàrly , teaching us to drive. In later years after my husband got out of the Air Force, and we.moved back here, we attended church with him and his family at HavenDale Baptist. Wonderful Christian testimony for us all. Need more teachers like him today

Debbie Wood kee

March 9, 2018

I had the honor of Coach Deedrick teaching me how to drive during WHHS Summer Driver's Ed. in 1962.
He was one of the most kindhearted gentlemen I have ever known. His patience and calming demeanor were very much needed in my case. I was afraid of everything on the roadway. Coach just told me to stop shaking, take a deep breath, respect other approaching cars, keep my eyes on the road , my hands on the wheel and not to panic . Advice that holds true today! That was an amazing summer for me as I learned to drive , passing my test on old Buckeye Loop Road and I have never forgotten Coach Deedrick!

Johnny Moore

March 8, 2018

I had the pleasure of serving as the manager of the 1957-58 basketball team under Coach Deedrick. I found over the years that he was not only a great basketball coach but a Godly man. My wife and I had the privilege of living across the street from him and his wife when I returned from Viet Nam. Later my wife, daughter and I were able to meet up with him at three Final Fours in Indianapolis, Atlanta and Dallas. Of course, we were all rooting for the Gators.