Dr. Jack Spruiell Bottoms passed away Thursday, August 27, 2020, at his residence near Jewett with loving family by his side.
Private funeral services for Dr. Jack Bottoms were held on Tuesday, September 1, 2020, at 2:00 p.m. at Ricks-Bowers Funeral Home in Jewett. Reverend Allen Crosby officiated. Dr. Bottoms was laid to rest at Sardis Cemetery.
He was born on September 21, 1930, less than a mile from where he died. Jack was born, the sixth of seven sons, to J. J. and Nettie Bottoms. He attended Jewett High School, and was the valedictorian of the class of 1948.
After graduation, Jack began attending college at Sam Houston State Teacher’s College. In 1950, after the outbreak of the Korean War, he joined the United States Air Force and served four years at Randolph Field in San Antonio. In 1953, Jack received his B. S. degree in Chemistry from Sam Houston State Teacher’s College. In 1954, he married Wanda June Walker, and in 1957, Jack received his Bachelor of Music Education degree from Baylor University. After teaching science for two years in Navasota, Jack and his growing family moved to Port Arthur to teach high school choral music until May 1967. In 1963, he earned his Masters degree, and in 1967 Jack, June and their five children moved to Boulder, Colorado so he could continue his education. Jack received his PhD in Music Education, Music History, Choral Literature and Conducting in 1971 from the University of Colorado.
From 1972 to 1980, Dr. Jack Bottoms taught music at Missouri Baptist College in St. Louis. Jack and family returned to Texas so he could become the Dean of the School of Music at Howard Payne University in Brownwood. Throughout his teaching career, the life-changing influence he had on thousands of students cannot be overstated. He retired from teaching there in 1992. About that time, Jack and June began making plans to return to Jack’s old home place in Jewett. They built their log cabin on family land (land that had been in his mom’s family for generations), where he lived for 28 years.
For 58 years, Dr. Jack Bottoms also served in Texas, Colorado, and Missouri churches as a Minister of Music. He impacted many generations of people for Jesus Christ through those years. At First Baptist Church of Jewett, Dr. Bottoms helped cast the vision to build a Family Life Center. His intense desire was to see that project finished well.
Jack loved people. He also loved animals, gardening, hunting and fishing, sports of all kinds, travel, and singing with his brothers and family. One of the joys of his life was being a charter member of The CenturyMen, a 100 member men’s chorus of music ministers from the United States. Jack and June went on concert tours in the U.S. and abroad, visiting many fascinating places. Needless to say, Dr. Bottoms’ life was full and rich.
Jack Bottoms is survived by his wife, June; his children, Gail Yates (Michael), Paula Pilkington (Brad), Sheryl Conrad (Andrew), Stephen, and Lisa. He is also survived by nine grandchildren, Jonathan, David, and Lauren Yates; Andrea England (Daniel), Erica Barksdale (Andy), Esther Rice (Josh), Emily, and Jonathan Conrad; and Jack Pilkington. Jack was able to meet his first great-grandchild, Alex England, born this last spring. Dr. Bottoms was also survived by one brother, Paul Bottoms (Joyce).
Dr. Bottoms was preceded in death by his parents and five brothers, Earl, Odell, Joe, Dale, and Durwood Bottoms.
The family requests that memorial donations be made to either First Baptist Church, 509 West Division St., Jewett, TX 75846; or to The CenturyMen c/o Kim Bowen, 793 Barbara Dr., Talbott, TN 37877. For online memorial donations to The CenturyMen, http://thecenturymen.com/donate/
Please visit our website at www.bowersfuneralhome.net to sign the memorial guestbook or leave a message for the family.