John R. Justice

Born in Nashville, TN on August 15, 1952

Departed on January 3, 2018 and resided in Nashville, TN

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Mr. John R. Justice, age 65, of Nashville passed away Wednesday, January 3, 2018.  He was born August 15, 1952 in Nashville, TN to the late William Spire and Mary Katherine (Russell) Justice. John is also preceded in death by his brother, Bill Justice.

Being a military re-enactor was John's life. By the age of 14 it was the Civil War, then through the years he played everything he could from Rev. War to Vietnam (and also Kreig War). John loved the excitement and challenge of battle. He was a good leader and had a loyal following. He also enjoyed sitting by the campfire with friends, sometimes playing his concertina, or just being alone in the woods.  John was very intelligent and knowledgeable. He played the recorder, wrote poetry, and created works of art. He was a good-hearted and fun-loving man who was loyal to his friends. We will all miss him very much.

He is survived by his fiancé, Melissa McDonald and numerous friends.

Friends will gather for a time of remembrance and sharing at West Harpeth Funeral Home from 1 – 3 p.m., Saturday, January 27, 2018.

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24 Comments to John R. Justice

  1. Curtis J. Miller
    January 11, 2018 1:49 pm

    John will be missed.

  2. Jackie Sproat
    January 13, 2018 7:12 pm

    Hadn’t been able to see John since we moved back in 2009. Miss his weird humor. Miss how he took me under his wing when I first started running in the woods with the guys. And I really miss how he championed me in different ways and said that girls/women were appropriate on the (reenacting) battlefield. Now I won’t have the chance to thank him again and tell him how much he meant anymore. Love ya’, John. GI or Soviet, I always knew you had my back ’cause you made me laugh my butt off every time. Save another bear hug for me!

  3. Ben Lowry
    January 13, 2018 8:24 pm

    Thanks, for the memories.

  4. Rick Waters
    January 13, 2018 8:29 pm

    I have known John from reenacting what a good guy!
    He will be miss.

  5. Brian Meier
    January 13, 2018 9:17 pm

    Thanks for your friendship John! You’ll be mist buy all and on the battle field! R.I.P. my brother!

  6. william womack byrn, jr
    January 14, 2018 11:21 am

    I never had a better or more loyal friend. we became friends at Aquinas in the early seventies. We worked together at the OLD Green Hills Theater. John always had my back and the backs of all of us. John hated bullies and was quick to take up for the little guy. He was brilliant, compassionate and zany. Rest in peace old noble comrade.
    Chuck Byrn

  7. James Lackey
    January 14, 2018 3:30 pm

    I first met John through our mutual friend, Mike Ezell. Over time, I discovered that John was a fascinatingly diverse person. His mind was knowledgeable on so many subjects. He always greeted me cordially with a handshake and a smile. Conversation was always “upper echelon” when it came to speaking with John. He was a distant friend, but only because I saw him so few times… still, those few times left an indelible mark that will always remain with me. John, you, your quirky sense of humor, your incredible imagination and your character will truly be missed by me and so many others. Rest In Peace, Old Friend…

  8. Dawn Northern
    January 14, 2018 3:33 pm

    John was an awesome man. I met him at Green Hills Theatre and reenactments. You will be missed, but always remembered. Rest in peace!

  9. Kevin Duke
    January 14, 2018 8:27 pm

    We shared many a campfire and many a laugh. And a few bottles. peace be with you, John. Tell Billie Squeazebox hello for us.

  10. Jacob Hawkins
    January 14, 2018 10:28 pm

    I knew John for many many years. He always did well by me. I post to all my re-enacting Friends that have passed from time, a quote from Josie Wales, “I rode with him. I got no complaints.”

  11. Thomas Killion
    January 15, 2018 10:18 pm

    I have thought long and hard about what to say here and I still have no idea. I liked to say that John and I were the same kind of weird. I feel like he taught me everything about reenacting and life in general. I will miss hours of riding in the car talking about everything from guns to UFOs and everything in between or just going to his house to hang out and learn neat tricks for doing things from him. I really can’t put into words our friendship but I will say, I’ll miss ya Sarge, and itwon’t be the same without you.

  12. Mike Harris
    January 17, 2018 6:30 pm

    Rest in peace John……….Thanks for the many memories!

    Halfway down the trail to Hell,
    In a shady meadow green
    Are the Souls of all dead Troopers camped,
    Near a good old-time canteen.
    And this eternal resting place
    Is known as Fiddlers’ Green.

    Marching past, straight through to Hell
    The Infantry are seen.
    Accompanied by the Engineers,
    Artillery and Marines,
    For none but the shades of Cavalrymen
    Dismount at Fiddlers’ Green.

    Though some go curving down the trail
    To seek a warmer scene.
    No Trooper ever gets to Hell
    Ere he’s emptied his canteen.
    And so rides back to drink again
    With friends at Fiddlers’ Green.

    And so when man and horse go down
    Beneath a saber keen,
    Or in a roaring charge of fierce melee
    You stop a bullet clean,
    And the hostiles come to get your scalp,
    Just empty your canteen,
    And put your pistol to your head
    And go to Fiddlers’ Green.

  13. Glen Witham
    January 17, 2018 8:54 pm

    Rest in peace my friend, you will be missed.!!!!

  14. Tony Estes
    January 17, 2018 9:58 pm

    Rest in peace.

  15. Tony Estes
    January 17, 2018 9:58 pm

    Rest in peace

  16. pete
    January 18, 2018 12:59 am

    I lost my friend…….We Will Meet Again!

  17. Rob Goudy
    January 19, 2018 7:03 pm


  18. Kathryne DeWitt
    January 20, 2018 7:51 pm

    I met John when I drew up courage and became one of the only solo WWII female reenactors in Tennessee, around 12 years ago. He was always gracious and helpful, willing to do whatever he could to help. During the floods of 2010 and afterwards, John and Melissa remained steadfast friends. I loved hearing all of his conspiracy theories and UFO stories, along with some of my favorite ghost stories. His reenacting with “Mother”, his beloved machine gun, attracted many, and John patiently explained every detail to their delight. While he always portrayed Army men, and I always Navy to the core, I think he would appreciate this poem from Tennyson. John was a poet at heart. Rest well my friend.
    Crossing the Bar
    Alfred Lord Tennyson, 1809 – 1892
    Sunset and evening star,
    And one clear call for me!
    And may there be no moaning of the bar,
    When I put out to sea,

    But such a tide as moving seems asleep,
    Too full for sound and foam,
    When that which drew from out the boundless deep
    Turns again home.

    Twilight and evening bell,
    And after that the dark!
    And may there be no sadness of farewell,
    When I embark;

    For tho’ from out our bourne of Time and Place
    The flood may bear me far,
    I hope to see my Pilot face to face
    When I have cross’d the bar.

  19. Chris Madrid
    January 24, 2018 9:16 pm

    I spent time with John on only a few occasions, but he was always a gentleman and someone I wished I had known better.


  20. Mike Skidmore
    January 27, 2018 10:27 am

    I first met John a bunch of years ago at a gun show in Nashville. To be honest I wondered who it was wearing what I referred to as a ‘Communist hat’. When we bumped into each other at a table I introduced myself to him and he to me. John was that kind of person you got to meet easily and become friends with. Much later on we found we both knew and were friends with Mike Ezell. This led to playing in the woods and camping together.

    While we never agreed on everything, we both respected the others opinion and stayed friends. We are all the poorer with his passing.

    John, Brother, we will meet again.

  21. Nick Blanton
    February 3, 2018 3:56 pm

    I’d known John since High School, and he was a great friend of my late brother Ben. I have not been in touch for several years, and would love to know how he left this world… but I am sure he packed more joy into his own life than several ordinary humans. Fly on, fly on, my brother.

    • Carolyn
      March 5, 2018 11:39 pm

      So sorry to hear that Ben has also passed. I was friends with both Ben and John. Thinking back on both of them reminds me of my youth. I hope that I meet them again later and in a better place. Peace and comfort to all who are missing someone they loved at some time. I crossed oceans of time to find him.

  22. Paula Underwood Winters
    February 4, 2018 7:58 pm

    So sorry to hear of another loss of a PDS alumni. I was never really close to John but at PDS we all seemed to at least know each other a bit. My prayers to fiancée and friends.

  23. Stephen Seifert
    March 2, 2018 1:48 am

    He worked with my dad who has also passed. John was always real kind to me. Told me all kinds of stuff. It blew my mind how he had been friends with Ben Blanton, who I also knew. Take care, all you dudes.

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