John Wiley Overstreet

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

John Wiley Overstreet, 81, of Scottsdale, Ariz., passed away Sept. 12, 2014, in Phoenix, Ariz.

Although he came from humble beginnings in Balch, Ark., he was always a class act and a true gentleman. John played basketball at and graduated from Arkansas State Teacher's College and Peabody Teacher's College. As a young teacher and coach, he met his wife of 57 years on the steps of the Wilson High School gymnasium.

In 1962, he coached the Manila High School basketball team to the state championship and was given the honor of coaching in the state All-Star game.

After moving to Arizona in 1962, he was a math teacher, coach and athletic director at Scottsdale High for over 25 years. After the school closed, he taught at Coronado High and Scottsdale Community College.

On Dec. 16, 1989, Arkansas Governor Bill Clinton proclaimed John Overstreet Day in honor of his retirement.

John was master of many skills including being a husband, father, grandfather, teacher, coach, card player, storyteller and fisherman. His ability to repeat a story, making it sound better and funnier than the original event is legendary. He didn't mind repeating the same story, improving it as he went. His family began holding up fingers to indicate how many times they had already heard that story. He loved a party and loved being with family and friends.

He and Margaret loved to swing dance. He was an excellent card player, particularly duplicate bridge and Hearts, which he played every day on his lunch hour at Scottsdale High.

John is survived by his wife, Margaret; sister, Ruth Wimberly; daughters, Emily Bean (Steve) and Beth Balducci (Jay); grandchildren, Christopher and Elyse Rowland, Nick Uhles and Cody Diamond. He also leaves behind many relatives who considered him to be a role model.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Seth and Ethel Overstreet; his three brothers who died as young children; and his precious youngest daughter, Julia Dimond Grenier.

A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 11, at Messinger Indian School Mortuary, 7601 East Indian School Road, Scottsdale. In lieu of flowers, the family requests a donation to Hospice of the Valley in his memory, 1510 East Flower, Phoenix, Ariz., or