Mr. John K. Mullins of Navasota passed away Wednesday, January 11th at his home. Visitation with the family will be Sunday, January 15th from 1:00-3:00pm. Funeral services are scheduled for Monday, January 16th at 10:00am at the First Baptist Church of Navasota with the Rev. Clyde Larrabee officiating. Internment with military honors will be Tuesday, January 17th at 2:15pm in the Houston National Cemetery. Arrangements are under the direction of Nobles Funeral Chapel.
John was born on August 28, 1932 in Webster, Texas to Walter and Johnnie (Smith) Mullins. He graduated from Webster High School and enlisted in the United States Marine Corp. He served In Korea during the Korean War and was part of the Second Marine Battalion that was left in the “Chosen Reservoir”, a cold, treacherous mountain region. The book, “Chosen Reservoir” was written regarding their unfortunate series of events while trying to survive the elements and make it back to the rest of the unit. It was during this experience that he received his first Purple Heart medal. John also received a second Purple Heart medal while still in Korea. He returned stateside and met the love of his life, Patricia Burkett in Houston, Texas. They were married August 31st 1961 in Richmond, Texas and together they raised seven children. When the Vietnam conflict began, the urge to serve the country he loved pulled at him once again and he re-enlisted and served as a combat photographer. Early in this tour, his talent with both pistol and rifle was noticed and because of his superior marksmanship, he was chosen for the pistol/rifle team. He earned the Rifle Expert Badge and the Pistol Expert Badge, Good Conduct Medal, National Service Medal, Navy Commendation Medal and many other merit and recognition awards. He retired ranked as Gunnery Sergeant from the Marine Corp that He dearly loved and loyally served. Ever the Marine, discipline and strong work ethic meant that he was dedicated to anything he tackled, and although very much a “no-nonsense” man, John possessed a wonderful sense of humor. John served by example throughout life his love for both his God and his country. He was active in his church, men’s prayer group and Bible Study, various building committees and until his illness, he joyfully attended services each Sunday at First Baptist Church of Navasota.
His military career led John to serve his community as a public servant, first as a patrolman for the Houston Police Department, then as Deputy Sheriff in Comal County and then the Texas Department of Corrections at Pack I in Navasota as a Lt. Law Librarian.
John continued his passion of rifles and pistols throughout his life and spending time at the gun range or target practicing was something he enjoyed immensely. He also had an ongoing love affair with his John Deere tractor. Ironically, though, John sold his tractor to buy Pat a long-armed quilting machine that she had wanted and then he ended up becoming quite the long-armed quilter himself! He was very talented at it and had quite of following of customers who brought their quilt tops to him to put together and quilt. He was very gifted with anything he did with his hands.
During retirement years, he and Pat enjoyed travelling in their fifth-wheel camper and seeing the country he loved so very much. He thoroughly enjoyed his grandchildren and looked forward to the holidays when the entire family could be together.
He is survived by his loving wife of 55 years, Patricia “Pat” Ann Mullins; daughters Traci Mullins and Lori Mullin; sons and daughter-in-law Stephen Burkett and wife Becky, Christopher Mullins and Marvin Burkett; grandchildren Jennifer Hoelscher, Aaron Burkett, Marty Webb, Willis Webb, John Moore, Danielle Schidt and Brittney McCulland and eleven great-grandchildren.
Serving as pallbearers are Mark Winn, Skip Nobles, Skip Croncich, Hollis Hood, Bobby Isbell and Charlie Botkins, all of Navasota.
John was preceded in death by his parents and sons Kenneth W. Mullins and John W. Mullins.