May 28, 1946 ~ August 8, 2020

Born in: Dothan, AL
Resided in: Stone Mountain, GA

John Marvin Warwick of Stone Mountain, Georgia died on August 8, 2020. He was preceded in death by his father, Marvin Leslie Warwick and mother, Anne Williams Warwick, his sister, Anne Warwick Woodham and brother-in-law, John Woodham. He is survived by his wife of 36 years, Rita Mount Warwick, his niece, Samantha Woodham Brown (Eric) and nephew, Warwick Woodham (Lori) and 3 grand nephews, one grand niece and a great-grand nephew.

John was from the long line of Methodist ministers going back to the circuit rider in the North Georgia Mountains. John broke with tradition and chose college teaching as his profession. He earned a B.A. from Huntingdon College, Montgomery, Alabama, M.F.A. from the University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa and a Ph.D. in creative writing from Georgia State University, Atlanta. He taught English and Literature in colleges and universities in Georgia and Alabama for over 40 years. He was an accomplished poet and winner of several honors including First Prize National Winner of the Hackney Award, First Place in 1992 and Second Place in 1993, Georgia State University Review, Kenneth M. England Prizes. He was published in well known national poetry reviews and was included in The Made Thing, An Anthology of Contemporary Southern Poetry, 2nd Ed. and in Alabama Poets: A Contemporary Anthology.

Due to Covid-19 a memorial will be planned later this year. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Lifeline Animal Project, P.O. Box 15466, Atlanta, GA 30333, PAWs Atlanta, 5287 Covington Hwy, Decatur, GA 30035, the Atlanta Humane Society, 981 Howell Mill Road NW, Atlanta, GA 30318 or any local or national animal rescue organizations.

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  1. CandleImageJohn’s kindness and friendship to me when I entered the Ph.D program in creative writing at Georgia State, and long after, will never be forgotten.

  2. Eternal rest grant unto John, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon him. May his soul and all the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace.
    Amen.

  3. John and I shared many adventures at the University of Alabama, a few that can even be talked about in polite company. We laughed often, sang a song or two, and worked to unravel the mysteries of life. Today the world seems sadder and emptier without him. Tonight, John, I’ll put on a little Peter, Paul, and Mary “Traveling Music” and toast you with the good bourbon. I love you, brother. Rest in Peace.

  4. While I only knew John through his participation in firm events at Davis, Zipperman, Kirschenbaum, & Lotito, he was consistently delightful and funny, embracing life to the fullest. My sympathies and prayers are with Rita as she navigates this new world.

  5. CandleImageJohn is one of the sweetest individuals I have ever met. There were many times in the last six years where b/c of miscellaneous appointments, John would come into the office with Rita. I always looked forward to seeing him appear in the basement with Rita leading the way, reminding him to say hello as he walked by. And I can still hear his voice, “Hellooo”. 🙂

    There was a time not that long ago where Rita couldn’t get away from the office to pick up John from Emory so I was elected to go. I didn’t want to go because I was afraid he would get hurt on my watch and I wasn’t sure what we’d talk about. I shouldn’t have worried; I don’t remember what we talked about but John kept me entertained on the trip back to the office and later I felt glad that we shared that ride. I feel extra glad today.

    He was one of the lead singers at our holiday parties and I loved to watch Rita and John sing together. Actually, I loved to watch John and Rita just be together because it was clear that they loved each other very much and if there ever was a couple who seemed a perfect match, it was John and Rita. They just fit. I used to imagine them at home sitting at the dinner table that undoubtedly featured a culinary creation by John. I’m guessing that even after 36 years, Rita and John never ran out of things to say to each other over dinner or during one of their road trips or just settling in for the night. I can’t imagine that for myself but I’m so thankful that this was John and Rita. Rita and John. Two peas in a pod. They just fit.

    Rita, I know you were everything to John and you know that he’ll be watching over you because you will always be everything to him.

    Love,
    Susan

    • Thank you, Susan, for sharing such a beautiful memory. Your words mean so much to me. It is comforting to have good friends to share their memories of John.
      Love, Rita

  6. CandleImageI met John when his father was the minister at Forest Avenue Methodist Church in Mongtomery, AL. He would often play his guitar and sing during the services. For a while, he tried to teach me to play the guitar, but I had the musical abilities of a rock. Nevertheless, somehow he was patient and though I never became much of a musician, we became very good friends. I liked his father and mother very much and they were always kind to me when I visited John at the parsonage. Those years are among some of the most cherished memories I have as a teen and John was such a big part of that. When I met Rita, I knew that he had found his life partner. Rarely do two people fit so perfectly together. John was a gentle rebel. He spoke with a soft voice but had a firm resolute set of principles. We’d lost track for many years, so I am sad for the loss of him, but grateful that we were able to briefly reconnect last year. Goodbye old friend, keep that sock dangling on your toes.

  7. Well, dear friend, you left us so suddenly. I can almost hear you say, “I’m sorry.” Bob and I were there when you married your beloved Rita-Honey and my best high school friend. Little did we know we would still be so close 36 years later. We always admired how patient and kind you were to each other every time we were together. You balanced each other and were the best of friends too. Rita misses you and the oneness ya’ll shared, but she’s a strong woman, and she’ll be okay until you’re together again. I will do anything I can to help her in the months ahead. Our days are numbered and God called you to your eternal home…just sooner than we expected. This life has little to offer compared to the riches and glory of heaven. I’m sure you’re enjoying the music and are sharing your gift of poetry. I miss you. Say “hello” to Jesus for me.

  8. John Warwick was a kind, brilliant and thoughtful man. He had a beautiful smile, a wink in his eye and a resonant, full and melodious voice. He was a pleasure to be around, joke with and talk to. He could carry on a conversation on a variety of subjects. He was a devoted husband to the love of his life, Rita. It was always sweet to see them together. The world was a better place with him in it. He will be missed.

  9. CandleImageMy favorite memories of John will always be of him and my husband Jerry singing folk songs together. We were so happy when Rita married him and joined the chorus and they came to Atlanta! May happy memories sustain you Rita and John you in a heavenly chorus now and I bet writing heavenly poetry too. You are missed.

  10. Rita, This is John Paul Mussleman, a friend of John’s from high school in Troy. Jerry told me of John’s death and sent this obituary. I was one of the trio, John, Jerry, and John Paul. We all went to The First Methodist Church in Troy. We imagined, wrongly, that we were really good, but we certainly had a lot of fun. My memory of John is that he was one of the most gentle people I had ever known. He seemed to never get mad at anyone. Smiled a lot. Put up with me. I remember that his Dad’s favorite thing to cook was Chili to which he always added mushrooms. A new thing for me. We would sit down to a bowl when I spent the night with John, and he would just shake his head and eat it. We were very good friends for years, but as often happens, we grew apart. Life and all it brings. I am very happy to read of the apparently wonderful relationship you two had. I know you are sad to the core.
    It’s so hard to lose someone so important in your life. Leaves a huge hole. Platitudes, but true. I wish you the best and you are in my prayers. I can just see John looking around in his new surroundings and saying, “What the hell is going on here?” Love and peace, John Paul

    • Thank you all for sharing such wonderful memories of John. It warms my heart to know he was so loved by all his friends, even those we had lost contact with. I know what a beautiful soul he was and it is really good to know he touched so many other lives. He truly lived his best life and left the world a much better place.
      Love to you all,
      Rita

  11. Thank you all for such beautiful memories and shared stories. It warms my heart to know that his friends, even those we had lost touch with for years remember John with such kind thoughts. It is a comfort to know how well he was loved.

    Love to you all,
    Rita

  12. John was “Uncle John” or “Uncle Frog” to me. For some reason as a kid, I gave every family member an animal (reptile) name and he got “Frog”. I have memories of John spending the weekend at our house when he was a student at Alabama. He stayed up all night and slept on our den couch until noon or later the next day. I have memories of going to his apartment across from Huntingdon College when he was living in Montgomery. I would play with his cat, Tashka. I have memories of him eating every Sunday night dinner at our house and leading sing-alongs after dinner….”Lizzy Borden”, “Country Roads”, “City of New Orleans” and an original he wrote about a beauty pageant in Alabama. Fast forward to after I graduated from college and got a job in Atlanta. John & Rita allowed me to live with them and their kitties until I found a place to live. While living with he and Rita I remember we made a lot of stir fry. Fast forward even further, John agreed to sing Ave Maria at our wedding (now 22.5 years ago). I wasn’t inside of the church when he sang (I was standing in the vestibule with my dad waiting to walk in the church) but he sang it beautifully. Sadly, the last time I got to see John was at my mom’s (his sister) service ten years ago. A regret of mine. I am sure he is with his parents, my parents and many kitties he had here on earth…..leading sing-alongs and playing guitar.

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