MONDAY, NOVEMBER 16, 2009
UPDATE: Funeral information for JU alumnus and supporter John Sessions
The family at Jacksonville University is mourning the loss of alumnus, supporter and friend John Sessions, who passed away early Saturday morning.
A member of JU’s first graduating class in 1959, Sessions was a constant at JU sporting events through the years. On May 4, 2007, JU honored Session by naming the baseball stadium after him – forever linking him together with one of his great passions, JU baseball.
“Mr. Sessions was a true gentlemen and friend,” said JU director of athletics Alan Verlander. “He had a great passion for JU and everyone here knew Mr. Sessions and had a great love and respect for him. We have lost a true champion for JU and an ambassador for life.”
Sessions graduated JU in 1959 with a degree in business administration and founded Bug Out Service in 1963, which is headquartered in the Arlington area of Jacksonville. The business, which has now expanded to six branch offices, is now being run by his son-in-law, Paul Felker, after Sessions retired as President and CEO in 1997.
Sessions and his wife, Elizabeth Carson, first met at Lafayette High School in Mayo, Fla. where he played basketball and baseball and she was Valedictorian of their senior class. After Carson graduated from Florida State and Sessions completed two years in the Army, as well as a year at Troy State, they were married in July of 1957 and moved to Jacksonville in order for Sessions to attend JU. The couple celebrated their 52nd wedding anniversary this past summer
A father of two and grandfather of three, he has produced one JU alum - his daughter, Caren Felker (who graduated in 1983). His grandson, Justin Felker, is continuing the family tradition as he is currently enrolled at JU.
"The University has always meant a lot to me and my family," Sessions said on the eve of naming the stadium after him. "We feel extremely fortunate to be able to give back to a school that means so much to us."
Following the news of his passing, the JU football team dedicated its game on Saturday to him – providing a performance that he was sure to leave him smiling.
Visitation has been schedule for 6 to 8 p.m. on Tuesday at Hardage-Giddens Funeral Home at 11801 San Jose in Mandarin. The funeral is set for Wednesday at 11 a.m. at the Arlington United Methodist Church on University Blvd.