John Andrew Cruz, 56, passed away on Sunday, February 28, 2021, at the Methodist Hospital Richardson Medical Center.
Mr. Cruz was born April 7, 1964, in Falfurrias, Texas to Librado and Emma Cruz. John was the youngest of their five children. John excelled at sports in high school like basketball and baseball. He was also the school yearbook photographer-a talent and hobby he continued to enjoy throughout his lifetime. John was always the one at all family events, holidays, and trips taking candid and posed photographs.
John graduated from Falfurrias High School in 1982. Upon graduation he attended the University of Texas at Austin. He was a proud Texas Longhorn fan and watched those teams faithfully. He completed his education at University of Texas Pan American in Edinburg, Texas. He graduated with a Bachelor of Criminal Justice in the spring of 1988. John was accepted into the competitive United States Navy Aviation Officer Candidate School in Pensacola, Florida. He graduated with the rank of ensign in 1989. He went to further training in Sacramento, California at Mather AFB. He was designated a Naval Flight Officer, NFO, on the P-3 Orion and later on a C130 Hercules.
John married Barbara Brunner on July 27, 1989 at Pensacola, Florida. They celebrated many of their 31 anniversaries by taking cruises to the west coast, Alaska, Disney destinations, and the Caribbean.
Together Barbara and John made their homes in beautiful places like San Jose, California, Mililani, Hawaii on the island of Oahu, and Oxnard, California while John pursued his career with the United States Navy. He served for 11 years. His last duty station was as a Naval recruiter in the Dallas/ Fort Worth area. He was deployed to exotic places such as McMurdo Station, Antarctica, Japan, New Zealand, Pacific Island Diego Garcia, Adak, Alaska, and the Panama Canal.
John's oldest son John Andrew (Drew) was born in Honolulu, Hawaii. His youngest son Cameron Lee was born in Camarillo, California. John ultimately left the Navy to pursue his happiest dream-being a loving and engaged father. He missed his young sons and wife when he went on deployment for six months at a time. John's pride and joy were his sons. He coached their rec league baseball, basketball, and football teams. He attended their band concerts and marching band competitions and took them on fun family trips. A yearly pilgrimage for the Cruz family was to the Rio Grande Valley every Thanksgiving to spend time with the Cruz siblings, cousins, nephews, and nieces. John also traveled to places like Washington, DC; the Grand Canyon; New York City; Boston; San Francisco and the Bay Area; the Grand Tetons, Las Vegas; Antigua; Rocky Mountains; Chicago; St. Louis; the Black Hills of South Dakota, Yellowstone National Park, and most recently the Smoky Mountains of Tennessee. If there was a mountain to climb or a sports venue to enjoy, they were there. John proudly celebrated both kids high school and college graduations. He was surrounded by family at his oldest son Drew's 2019 wedding to Meredith Mounger. John's mother Emma proudly told her family and friends that "John was the best Dad ever. He really loves his sons and spends time with them."
He became a basketball referee after Drew and Cameron were grown. He officiated for the Plano Rec League, YMCA, and Texas Association of Sports Officials. He enjoyed the games, the exercise and the extra money he used toward their many trips.
John was employed by AT&T as a Network Telecom Engineer for the last 21 years. John's coworkers could always count on him to be a team player, a great joke teller, and an all-around awesome guy. John always had a movie quote or one-liners from sitcoms to share. John loved anything Marvel, Star Wars, and he was the ultimate Dallas Cowboys fan. Some of his favorite sayings were, We are on Cruz Standard Time or If you are on time, you are late.
John was kind and generous. He gave monthly to various charitable organizations like the Texas Folds of Honor; Carry the Load; Alzheimers Association, ALS of Texas, and various food pantries. He also served his community alongside his family at 5K fundraising races, Special Needs children's events, laying Christmas wreaths at the Dallas-Fort Worth National Cemetery, and many other events where he could volunteer.
Surviving John are wife Barbara, son Drew (Meredith), son Cameron. Siblings: Lee (Judy) Cruz; Paul (Nicole) Cruz, and Mary (Hector) Valero Cruz. Aunt Aida Trevino and Uncle Robert Trevino. He has many nieces, nephews, and cousins who will remember him fondly.
John was preceded in death by father Librado Cruz Arevalo; sister Graciela Diana Sanchez; and mother Emma Trevino Cruz.
In lieu of flowers memorial donations may be made to organizations close to John's heart: Folds of Honor https://www.foldsofhonor.org ; Carry the Load https://www.carrytheload.org ; Alzheimers Association https://act.alz.org ; ALS Association of Texas https://www.alstexas.org.
Services will be held at the Charles W Smith & Sons Funeral Home in Sachse, TX. Burial will follow at the DFW National Cemetery.