John Allen Rider II was born the youngest child of George Henry and Lorene Agnes Meek Rider on March 11, 1928, on the family farm near Arnett in Ellis County OK. John was named for his grandfathers, John Allen Rider I, and John Meek. He began school at Sunny Slope School where his father had earlier attended when the school was in a dugout on the family farm, and graduated from high school in Arnett in 1946. In April of 1946, before the school year ended, John enlisted in the US Navy. John served as a Yoeman on the USS Wilkes-Barre providing personal clerical support to the Admiral, US Naval Forces, European Area on several excursions throughout Northern Europe immediately after the end of World War II.
John returned to the family farm in early 1948, assisting in cleanup and new home construction following the devastating tornado of 1947.
After a short time as Deputy Court Clerk in Ellis County, John attended Northwestern State College in Alva OK, working as a title clerk at Woods County Abstract Company. He received his bachelor’s degree 1952, beginning his teaching career at Rozel Rural High School in Rozel, KS, starting a distinguished 42 year career in education. He also taught in high schools in Norwich and Bluff City KS
John received his Master’s degree in 1956 from the University of Wyoming, and taught at a number of colleges and universities, serving in Spearfish SD, the Panama Canal Zone, Fayette and Orange City, IA, and at his alma mater in Alva, OK.
In 1966 John received his Doctorate in Education from the University of Nebraska and moved to the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque where he established a graduate program in Business Teacher Education. While at West Texas State College, in 1973 Dr Rider was honored as “Teacher of the Year for District 16, Texas Business Education Association.” After a year at Coffeyville Junior College in Kansas, he taught at East Tennessee State University where he was honored as “1986 Educator of the Year”. John retired in 1994, and in 1995 was honored as an “Outstanding Education Alumna” by his alma mater.
John married Audrey Baker in 1961 in Dacoma, OK. Audrey was also a professor. To their union, two children were born: Michelle Renee and John Allen Rider III. Five grandchildren were added to their family after their retirement: William, Catherine, and Lauren Brown; and Hannah Rider and John Allen Rider, IV.
Growing up in the church, John served over the years as a Sunday School teacher; Wesley Foundation sponsor, Church Treasurer, Lay Leader, and Pianist. Since the 1980’s, John has maintained his membership in the Lost Creek Friends Church in Tennessee which his Quaker ancestors helped establish in 1790. He and his family worshiped there while living in Johnson City.
Always active in supporting the local community wherever he lived, John helped organize a Literacy Council in Tennessee to help adults learn to read. For several years he served on the Board of Directors and as a tutor for the Enid literacy council, and was also a hospice volunteer for many years, serving over forty families; Ombudsman for the Methodist Home in Enid; and was active in Kiwanis and Lions Clubs. He was a member of the “Over the Mountain” Post of the American Legion in Johnson City TN, the Sons of the American Revolution, and a charter member of the Holt County (Missouri) History Society.
Preceding John in death were his wife Audrey, parents George & Lorene Rider, his brother and sister-in-law, Marvin and Helen Rider, and his sister, Maebelle and brother-in law Clifford Hanan.
He is survived by his daughter and son-in-law, Michelle and Edward Brown of Waco, Texas; his son and daughter-in-law, Allen and Kelli Rider of College Grove, Tennessee; his grandchildren, William Brown, Catherine Brown, and Lauren Brown of Waco, Texas; and Hannah Rider and John Rider IV, of College Grove, Tennessee; two nephews, four nieces, and a host of other relatives and friends.
Graveside Services will be held at Garrison Cemetery with nephew Chaplain Paul Rider, USAF retired, presiding.
Interment will be in the Garrison Cemetery, Dacoma OK.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Northwestern Oklahoma University Foundation. https://my.nwfoundation.com/
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