Mr. John Lafayette Overstreet, a distinguished Instructor of Electronics (GS 11), has passed away at his home in Madison, Alabama, leaving behind cherished memories and a legacy that will be forever treasured. Born on February 5, 1931, in Hattiesburg, Mississippi to Ollie Elmer Overstreet and Doris Lillian Lafayette Overstreet, Mr. Overstreet lived a remarkable life filled with love, dedication, and countless accomplishments.
From an early age, it was apparent that Mr. Overstreet possessed a passion for knowledge and learning. This lead him to pursue a higher education, earning a Literature degree from Athens State College (now known as Athens State University) on May 14, 1981, as well as the William Butler Yeats Award. Armed with his academic achievements and military experience, he embarked on a journey that would shape not only his own life but the lives of the countless students he would go on to inspire as an instructor.
Throughout his distinguished career as an Army Electronics instructor, Mr. Overstreet dedicated himself to sharing his expertise and empowering others with knowledge. His commitment to teaching went far beyond the confines of the classroom; he nurtured and mentored generations of soldiers, instilling in them the values of hard work, perseverance, and integrity.
Outside of his professional life, Mr. Overstreet was a man of many passions. His family recalls fond Saturday mornings spent together, drinking coffee and immersing themselves in classic Disney movies and cartoons. Their precious Afghan Hound named Lady was always by their side during these cherished moments. Additionally, he delighted in simple pleasures such as enjoying peanut butter and jam sandwiches accompanied by a refreshing glass of chocolate milk.
Wherever he was stationed throughout his life's journey, Mr. Overstreet embraced part-time work that brought him immense joy – serving as a projectionist for classic films. This allowed him to indulge in one of his greatest passions while sharing the magic of cinema with others.
The sound of classic albums filling the room was a familiar accompaniment to those who knew Mr. Overstreet well. He had a deep appreciation for music, with Bing Crosby's timeless melodies holding a special place in his heart. The soothing voice of Bing Crosby often provided the backdrop to many cherished moments in Mr. Overstreet's life.
Described as laid back, easygoing, and quietly content, Mr. Overstreet was a man who emanated happiness and radiated a sense of deep honor. His quiet demeanor belied a vibrant spirit, always ready to lend a helping hand or offer a kind word to those in need. He carried himself with grace and dignity, inspiring those around him to strive for greatness through his own actions.
Mr. Overstreet's military service played an integral role in shaping the man he became. As a Vietnam Veteran who proudly served his country for 28 years, he earned numerous accolades for his exceptional dedication and meritorious service. Among the honors bestowed upon him were the Meritorious Service Medal, National Defense Service Medal (1st Oak Leaf Cluster), Army of Occupation (Germany), Vietnam Service Medal, Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal, Good Conduct Medal (1st – 9th awards), World War II Victory Medal, Meritorious Unit Emblem, Vietnam Counteroffensive, Vietnam Counteroffensive Phase II, and FEPA - Vietnam. It is worth noting that his extension of service was at the request and for the convenience of the Government—a testament to his unwavering commitment.
Beyond his professional achievements and military service, Mr. Overstreet found solace and joy in various hobbies and interests. An avid collector of classic albums, movies, and shows, he savored every moment spent immersed in their timeless allure. Closer to home, Mr. Overstreet delighted in marathons of Murder She Wrote with his loved ones by his side.
One could often find Mr. Overstreet behind the lens of a camera capturing precious memories that would be cherished for generations to come. His artistic eye and passion for photography allowed him to freeze moments of joy, love, and togetherness, ensuring that his family's legacy would forever be preserved.
Among Mr. Overstreet's proudest accomplishments in life was the introduction to his beautiful wife, Maria Anna Letinza Licciardello Overstreet, whom he met in Italy in 1955. Their love story blossomed, and a year later, they exchanged vows in Udine, Italy. Together, they embarked on a remarkable journey filled with love, laughter, and unwavering support for one another.
Their precious daughters, Doris Lillian Overstreet and Patricia A. Overstreet, brought immeasurable joy into their lives. The love shared within their tight-knit family bond served as an anchor during both the joys and challenges of life. Mr. Overstreet cherished every moment spent with his wife and daughters, surrounding them with affection and unwavering devotion.
On August 13, 2023, Mr. John Lafayette Overstreet passed from this world, leaving behind a profound sense of loss among all who had the privilege of knowing him. His memory will forever remain engraved in the hearts of those who loved him.
To honor and celebrate the remarkable life of Mr. John Lafayette Overstreet, a Graveside Service will be held on August 17, 2023, at Huntsville Memory Gardens in Huntsville, Alabama. The service will commence at 11:00 AM and conclude at 11:30 AM.
As we gather to bid our final farewells to a man whose impact will be felt for generations to come, let us remember Mr. Overstreet as a beacon of wisdom, kindness, and unwavering dedication. May his spirit live on within our hearts as we carry forward the values he exemplified throughout his extraordinary life.
Mr. John Lafayette Overstreet is survived by his cherished daughters Doris Lillian Overstreet and Patricia A. Overstreet, as well as his beloved wife Maria Anna Letinza Licciardello Overstreet. Our deepest condolences go out to them, as well as to all the family and friends who have been touched by the boundless love and warmth that Mr. Overstreet shared.