John Nesbitt Hurt was born at Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio, Texas on November 19, 1952 to William Clarence Hurt and Betty Cain Hurt.
Being in a military family meant moving around, but John loved being an “Army brat.”
From Michigan to North Carolina, to California and back to his home state after other stops, John made friends easily in school and on post after post.
With his dad sometimes overseas, his mom found herself wrangling four boys by herself. John was a prankster and certainly had a hand in keeping her hopping.
“The sarge” as the kids called her, kept her troops in line despite dealing with things like broken bones, sports injuries, and a rabbit bite that caused a rabies scare. John did his part, getting lead poisoning from a pencil, and literally shocking himself out of curiosity. He was found motionless on the floor behind the TV. Younger brother Stephen said John was “messing around with the cords and went night-night.”
John shared many memories of all the fun he and his brothers had growing up like playing “war,” digging a foxhole in the back yard, and numerous other shenanigans along the way. The “boys” who got in trouble, all turned into fine men with a strong bond that brought much happiness to John and carried him through challenging times.
John was full of fire, independent and loved life and learning.
He attended Robert G. Cole High School in San Antonio, then graduated from San Marcos Academy and went on to earn a degree in political science from Hardin Simmons University.
In college, he was bitten by the broadcasting bug – working as a rock and roll radio DJ. That led to a long, award-winning career in TV news as a reporter, anchor and news director. He was an extremely gifted writer whose way with words made his work memorable and him a model for colleagues not only in broadcasting, but during his long career afterward as the public information officer for TxDOT’s Austin District and, most recently, a PIO with the Cy-Fair Fire Department.
There were a vast number of professional achievements, but his most rewarding accomplishment and honor was being a father and what he was proudest of are his sons, Jeb and Trevor. His love for them was profound. Nothing brought a bigger smile to John’s face than seeing or talking with them, and catching up – or,sharing
stories with anyone who would listen about their childhood and how proud he was of celebrating all their accomplishments and watching them turn into the awesome men they are.
John tackled team sports with his sons, coaching soccer for Jeb’s teams and baseball for Trevor’s. John shared their love of the Texas Longhorns; they went to games together and were always evaluating players and coaches, celebrating wins, sharing their dismay at losses or “bad calls”, and frustration when a national title was out of reach.
John’s sons brought him so much happiness and were the biggest blessings in his life. They went camping and fishing together, enjoyed cooking out and all the good times leave beautiful memories that will last until they see one another again.
John was the love of my life. It was an interesting journey and one ultimately determined by fate and, I believe, the hand of God. I met John in 1982 when I was hired in the news department at KBMT-TV in Beaumont, Texas. John was the main news anchor. After a whopping three hours of training, I was let loose to run the character generator (creating and putting all written words on the screen), and the teleprompter which provides the electronic scripts anchors read from on studio camera screens. Needless to say, my skills were questionable. I remember John telling me before my first newscast “nothing could be worse than what they had.” They’d been without a prompter operator for days and forced to read from their hard copy paper scripts. He spoke too soon. Right off the bat, I ran the prompter in reverse – all the scripts taped together on the primitive teleprompter’s conveyor belt disappeared. I overheard John expressing his “displeasure” with the situation afterward and went home in tears, convinced I would be fired the next day. Little did either of us know what was ahead.
Decades later, our paths crossed again. John called me up and the rest is history – we talked for about three days – around the clock – never sleeping or hanging up and married just seven months later. The engagement shocked my entire family who had no idea I was even dating anyone. My youngest sister was speechless, for the first time in her life, upon hearing the news.
Reconnecting with John introduced me to the world of Harley Davidson and the joy of riding on the back of his motorcycle all over Texas – alone and with many great friends.
I also learned a LOT about World War II, watched a LOT of war movies, learned a LOT about aviation and planes and found in him a soul mate and shared love I never believed was possible. He also indulged me, regularly watching shows like the Brady Bunch and even the HGTV special on reconstructing the Brady house.
John and I shared a passion for Hawaii, visiting dear friends there and spending three straight days exploring every inch of Pearl Harbor and the Island of Oahu where I once lived.
Our reconnecting blessed both of us and countless others in many ways, bringing so many phenomenal people from many families together as one. His sons, his brothers and their families all became a part of my family and I part of theirs. My late mother, Dessie McBride loved him with all her heart and thought of him as a son.
God makes no mistakes. He knew what he was doing all along. It was all part of his plan. What an honor and a privilege for me to be his wife and to hold him in my arms until God and Jesus lifted him into theirs.
John was an ordained minister who helped foster my relationship with God and Jesus so I take solace in the knowledge we will be together again.
Everyone who knew and loved John is heartbroken but know he’s in heaven with his parents, his brother Duane, my mother and other relatives and friends who were there to welcome him to God’s kingdom.
John will be remembered for his love of family and friends, his quick wit, tender heart, kindness and compassion for others, and his love for Texas, America, animals and the outdoors.
He could be stubborn at times and that helped him overcome many health problems over the years. He fought the good fight for the last four months with unbelievable spirit and courage.
He is now at peace in his forever home, still surrounded by so much love - there, and here on earth.
John was preceded in death by his father, William Clarence Hurt, his mother Betty Cain Hurt and his brother Duane Hurt.
He is survived by me, his loving wife Lisa Hurt, his son Jeb Hurt and wife Natasha and their sons Carson and Callan, his son Trevor Hurt and fiancée Kara Brashear,
his brother Bill Hurt and wife Judy, his brother Stephen and wife LeAnn, and numerous nieces, nephews, cousins and their families.
John always said he didn’t want to go out quietly – but go sliding in headfirst - with a smile and a drink in his hand. I am sure he is still the life of the party.
-Note: For those who wish to attend the committal service, we ask that you help honor John's memory safely by maintaining a safe distance and wearing a face covering.
A team will attempt to livestream the outdoor funeral service via Facebook Live - you may access the link here: https://www.facebook.com/jandlhurt/