John Houston Paxton

Published 1:38 pm Tuesday, March 5, 2024

A celebration of the life of John Houston Paxton of Starkville will be held Wednesday, March 6, at 11 a.m. at First Methodist Church in Tallulah. Visitation will begin at 10 a.m. in the church.

John was born Dec. 29, 1953, in Vicksburg, to parents, Carlyle Valeria Logue and Albert Henry Paxton Sr.

His family moved to Tallulah when he was 11 years old and he graduated from Tallulah Academy.

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Like his father and his five siblings, he graduated from Mississippi State University and he was a Bulldog for life.

John cultivated and kept many lifelong friendships – from Oscar Miskelly and several Kappa Sigma Fraternity brothers – to college friends affectionately known as “The Onion Group”, to others whom he met later in life, including Ben Ardahl and Carol Cook.

Along with his family, these friends were instrumental in John’s ability to move forward with grace, strength, and a positive attitude in the almost six years of his cancer diagnosis.

Ultimately, it was John’s faith in Jesus Christ that sustained him for his adult life.

John’s professional career involved the transportation and distribution businesses, but it was his aptitude and ability as an equestrian that brought him national acclaim and provided the opportunity to form friendships across the country. He was well-respected and held in high regard by his peers in the cutting horse industry and he was grateful for these friendships that enriched his life.

Doc’s Otoetta, the horse John rode when he “shattered records for money won in a single year” and was awarded the National Cutting Horse Association (NCHA) World Champion Non-Professional Rider title, was like a beloved member of the Paxton family. John was honored to be inducted into the NCHA Non-Professional Rider Hall of Fame.

After many years of living and working in Texas, John moved to Starkville and worked with his nephew, Adam, at Paxton Furniture Industries.

He was an active and faithful member of Grace Presbyterian Church and he was a fervent Bulldog supporter.

John is survived by his brothers, Albert Henry Paxton Jr. (Sarah), William Theo Paxton (Charlynne), James Edward Paxton (Chris); sisters, Pamela Paxton Ferriss (David) and Valeria Paxton MacPhail (William); nieces and nephews, Albert Adams Paxton, Amy Paxton Blossom (Benjamin), William Theo Paxton Jr. (Melissa), Albert Henry Paxton (Lillian), Carlyle Paxton Killen (Bryant), Mathew King Paxton (Lauren), Miriam Ferriss Pittman (Chase), David Meadow Ferriss III (Mary Elizabeth), Sarah MacPhail Shires (Ben), Carlyle MacPhail Burns (Andrew), Katherine Sweet MacPhail, Annabelle Parker Paxton, Samuel Henry Paxton, and Kathleen Carlyle Paxton; and many great-nieces and nephews.

John is preceded in death by his parents, Valeria and Albert Paxton.

Pallbearers are his nephews, Adam Paxton, Bill Paxton, Albert Paxton, Matt Paxton, David Ferriss, Sam Paxton and his cousin, David Hosemann.

The family has requested that memorials be sent to Grace Presbyterian Church in Starkville, or to the Delta-Chi Chapter of the Kappa Sigma Fraternity at Mississippi State University to establish the David M. (Boo) Ferriss Scholarship – Leadership Award, which will be awarded annually to an outstanding undergraduate fraternity member,