John Calvin Aylor passed away peacefully at his home on January 23, 2019 surrounded by his loving family, with his faithful dog Abby on his lap. Known as J.C., John was born on January 31, 1919 in Rollett, TX to Rollan Jack Aylor and Ada Lona Davis Aylor. A true child of the Depression and the Dust Bowl, J.C. related many stories of his family migrating from farm to farm in the 1920’s around Texas to pick cotton, fruit, or other crops to earn a living. As a young man he worked for many years at the fig farms in Highlands, at the starting wage of 15 cents an hour.
J.C. joined the Army on January 15, 1940 as a corporal in the 2nd Division (Indianhead), 23rd Infantry, Company M. He and his sweetheart Olga Matula were married on October 5,1942 while J.C. was on weekend leave in Houston, and the Army shipped him overseas in October of 1943. He was proud to have been part of the D-Day invasion that landed on Normandy Beach on June 6, 1944. He went on to fight the Germans in the French hedgerows of towns like Brest and Bayeux, and in the Battle of the Bulge in Belgium and France. He was honorably discharged after Axis defeat as a Staff Sergeant on August 17, 1945 and came back to Baytown and went to work for Humble Oil in the Research and Development Department, retiring as a Maintenance Supervisor from Exxon on June 1, 1980. He made full use of his 39 years of retirement, enjoying his family and friends, weddings and anniversaries, playing softball, traveling, hunting, and fishing. He also related his war stories to anyone who asked, and revisited Normandy Beach later in life, laying a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.
J.C. was the storyteller of the family, and loved sitting on the back porch talking about growing up in the Depression, the hardships his family endured, all with the purpose of conveying the lessons of history. He was an honest man, a sincere man. He had a quality to be found in many men of the Greatest Generation. He was very skilled in everything: plumbing, carpentry, electrical, roofing, you name it; he did not believe in throwing things away if he could fix it, saying “you’ve got to get the right tool for the job.” He was also famous for his pot of pinto beans, homemade blueberry wine, sausage, and jerky.
Life-long residents of Highlands, J.C and Olga raised their three children here, and J.C was always proud of his children’s accomplishments and loved providing a good life for them in the years after WW2. In his retirement, he loved watching his grandsons play baseball and taking them hunting and fishing, and those memories they will cherish. J.C.’s wife Olga is a lifelong member of St. Jude’s Catholic Church in Highlands, and in 2014 J.C was baptized, with his daughter and grandson serving as godparents.
John Calvin Aylor is survived by his loving wife of 76 years, Olga Marie Aylor of Highlands, daughters Barbara May of Highlands and Jo Ann Fowles (Raymond) of New Braunfels. He was preceded in death by his late son, Michael Calvin Aylor and his four brothers, Dock Oswald Aylor, O. B. Aylor, Joe Aylor and Roy Lee (Buddy) Aylor. Also surviving are five grandchildren, Gregory May (Charlene) of Baytown, Russell Brenner (Jackie) of Katy, Cassandra Mickel (Jefferson) of Austin, Johnathon Aylor (Christine) of Houston, and Ian Aylor (fiancée Brie) of El Lago. John is also survived by seven great-grandchildren, Mackenzie May, Emilee Herring, Reese Brenner, Hatfield Mickel, Augustus Mickel, Gage Aylor, Ada Aylor, and his newest great-grandchild John Calvin Aylor II. Survivors include his daughter-in-law Wanda Aylor Wingo, brother-in-law Jerome Matula (Evelyn), sister-in-law Martha Schwartz, and numerous nieces and nephews.
Visitation will be held on Friday February 8, 2019 at 5:00 pm with rosary following at 7:00 pm at Sterling-White Funeral Home, 11011 Crosby-Lynchburg Road, Highlands,TX. A funeral mass will be held at St. Jude Thaddeus Catholic Church, 800 South Main Street, Highlands, TX at 10:00 am on February 9, 2019. Interment will follow at San Jacinto Cemetery, 14659 East Freeway (I-10).
The family would like to thank the doctors and nurses on the 2 East Wing of Baytown Methodist Hospital and the staff at the Methodist Rehabilitation Center for their tender loving care of John. They would also like to thank the Harbor Hospice staff for helping make his last few days comfortable. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Disabled American Veterans Charity, or to St. Jude Thaddeus Catholic Church in Highlands.
Pallbearers: Greg May and Russell Brenner
Honorary Pallbearers: Johnathon Aylor, Ian Aylor, Ed Sheffield, Aubrey Barrow, Jerry Taylor, William Barrow, Dewey Higginbotham, Dick Moore, Bob Kelly and Leo Rizzuto