John Levert Faulk departed this life to be with the Lord on August 9, 2021. As he passed through the gates on to glory, we imagine a New Orleans Jazz Band heralded his arrival with a heavenly rendition of When the Saints go Marching In. The world lost a beautiful soul on this day. A soul we are all better for knowing and in his absence we are less.
John is preceded in death by his parents, Roy Willis Faulk and Katherine Elaine Levert of Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Left to cherish his memory are his wife of 53 years (just 3 days shy of their 54th anniversary), Elizabeth Anne Faulk; his daughters, Katherine Elizabeth Stebbins, and her husband Dennis; Leanne Elaine Bolin and her husband Henry; and Julie Renee Hindman and her husband Jonathan as well as John’s brother, Bill, his wife Pamela, nephew, John and niece, Amy. His seven grandchildren, Ashley, Austin, Aleia, Ethan, Luke, Savannah and Charlotte, filled John with great joy and deeply mourn the loss of their Pop. Equally wrapped around his little finger were his three great-grandchildren Lenny, Cole and Sadie. In addition, John leaves behind a multitude of loved and loyal friends and family members as well as his beloved kitty-boy, Milo, who keeps a daily vigil for “Pop” on his green recliner.
Born with Tabasco Sauce in his veins on February 2, 1945, in New Orleans, Louisiana, John had a definitive spice for life! He knew a thing or two about picking crabs and crawdads, and never met an etouffee or beignet he didn’t like.
Laissez le Bon Temps Roulet rang true in John. Good people, good food and the good Lord were key ingredients of every family function and the building blocks of his life. John’s parents helped lay the foundation for his deep faith while raising him and his brother, Bill, in the Catholic faith. The church’s traditions instilled in John a sense of reverence for God’s word and kindled his desire to know Jesus Christ and His saving grace. The blessings of this grace bestowed upon John stalwart hope and joy even amidst life’s inevitable storms.
Elizabeth and John met in high school in Toronto, Canada. Elizabeth, a Toronto native, was quickly enamored by this Mustang driving New Orleans-born Cajun’s quick wit and zest for life. His undeniable adoration of Elizabeth, had her head over heels in no time. During his high school years, John was an avid writer and photographer for the school’s newspaper. He loved photographing the sports games and musical performances especially when Elizabeth was on the softball field or playing in the orchestra. She introduced her southern beau to Canadian culture and its cold weather sports. While John preferred sipping hot cocoa in the lodge to skiing or ice skating, he truly loved Canada’s summer lake-life. Their adventures in Canada’s lake country and the friendships made during his years living in Toronto, left a maple-leafed impression on John’s heart. John and Elizabeth were married August 12, 1967. They enjoyed countless family trips back to Canada during the summers to share their love for its beauty and culture with their daughters. John was adored by Elizabeth’s family and always remained close with his friends from “Up North”.
Shortly after getting married, John and Elizabeth moved to Lafayette, Louisiana where John finished his degree in English with a concentration in journalism from the University of Southwestern Louisiana, (now the University of Louisiana at Lafayette). Back in his home state, John began his career as a professional writer working at a local Lafayette newspaper telling stories of tomato farmers and various local events. He went on to work for McCann Erickson in Houston, Texas, one of the leading advertising agencies in the nation. Working on major national and international brands, John’s creativity and penchant for writing accelerated him in his field. However, God was working on John’s heart to use his gifts in a different capacity.
John heeded this calling and sent his resume to the Christian Broadcasting Network in 1978. He accepted a writing position with this then little-known broadcasting network in coastal Virginia moving his young family 1500 miles from home with the hope of using his talent for a greater purpose. Here, he found a place where he could use his gifts to make a difference in people’s lives. John’s talent found its voice as he wrote innumerable TV spots, fundraising letters, jingles and scripts while earning national awards for writing the lyrics for the award-winning song The Book and his work on the animated children’s series, Superbook. Employing his gifts for God’s service for over 40 years, he inspired and encouraged those around him with his humor, his humble heart and his palpable creative energy.
During his career, John ultimately partnered with multiple national ministry-based organizations including Liberty Broadcasting Network, Operation Blessing, Messianic Vision, and Regent University. He also teamed with local humanitarian organizations and marketing businesses including, Ethicom Associates, developing not only collegiality but lasting friendships at every juncture. Many of whom came to see him during hospital stays and who would call or pray for him daily. He lavished praise upon those with whom he worked and was humbled by their tremendous talent and their kindness. John was a high-energy creative talent who could have easily had a successful career on Madison Avenue; however, he chose to ply his persuasive writing skills for humanitarian and Gospel-based ministries to serve his fellow man.
John’s work illuminated forgotten places and people. The precision of his words changed hearts and minds for God’s glory, giving hope to the forlorn and lighting the path for the lost. He helped to bring the Good News of the Gospel to literally millions of people during his life’s work.
He was also a renaissance man in the truest sense. A veritable font of knowledge with an affinity for the lesser known. American history, the Vatican’s secrets, the Civil War, Shakespeare, the history of steam trains, the origin of just about every word in the English language, rituals of nomadic tribes of South America…You name it! The man just knew things.
John was a talker but most importantly he was a listener…usually. Filling a room with his jovial presence, the warmth of his smile and the whimsy in his baby-blues, he immediately put those around him at ease. John did not see status; he saw people. And he loved to hear their stories.
His sense of humor and tendency toward enthusiastic outbursts of mainly fabricated words shouted loudly (and preferably in a foreign accent), became an art form of sorts. A talent, which sometimes drove Elizabeth to the brink, was both endearing and hilarious.
A passionate train enthusiast since childhood, he could often be found listening to the Beach Boys, the Everly Brothers or some other 50’s era doo-wop band while assembling his favorite Bachmann N Scale model trains. He had infinite patience for meticulously connecting the cars to the track and wiring the engine for sound. The fruits of his labor ran circles around family Christmas trees and dining room tables for decades. Family vacations were only truly complete when a train tour was involved.
As a Tech-Genius, his love for apps, gadgets and electronics made buying gifts for John a breeze. The more buttons, the better. A film buff in his own right, John was a movie lover. Star Wars, Spielberg films, Back to the Future, Jurassic Park, anything with great one-liners, questionably good actors with some pretty impressive explosion scenes thrown in, would surely win two enthusiastic Thumbs Up from John.
John was a storyteller at heart; a talent which lent itself to also being a gifted photographer. He captured life on film and punctuated moments in shutter snaps. He saw beauty in the mundane and taught his daughters and grandchildren to do the same. His gifts of photography and writing are an enduring legacy, his love-song to a life well lived and to the people he held dear.
John loved his family beyond measure. He would whisper God’s promises to each new addition as he cradled them in awe of the gift of life. His love evident in how he knew each of his daughters and every grandchild for their unique gifts and personalities. He celebrated the milestones, camera in hand, documenting the soccer games, dance recitals, awards ceremonies, talent shows, birthday breakfasts at IHOP, band performances, graduations, weddings, far- flung travels and relaxed family gatherings. He proudly displayed their homemade handprint-art and rallied around new business ventures. He willingly lent his talents to help his children and grandchildren edit school papers, create projects, draft resumes, make slide-shows, and videos for work or school. He gave of himself unconditionally, willingly and often heroically. He was fully present in their lives; his encouraging applause echoes still.
Loving them all out loud in word and deed, his wisdom, advice, and prayers were ever-ready for each one at any hour. Father, Grandfather, Great Grandfather, Husband and Friend. He was extraordinary.
John Faulk was a man who lived and loved with his whole heart because Jesus first loved him. John left an indelible mark on those who knew him and we are better because we knew him. His eternal spirit lives on in each of us as we use our gifts to serve others…a lasting tribute to man who loved us all so well.
Until we meet again, we will never stop loving and missing you, Pop.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in John’s honor by clicking the donation link below or by sending directly to:
Redeemer Presbyterian Church
1340 North Great Neck Road
Suite 1272 #370
Virginia Beach, VA 23454