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Wadhams, John D.

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October 22, 1954 - August 26, 2014

Wadhams, John D.

John D. Wadhams was born Oct. 22, 1954 in Pelham, NY to Darwin A. and Jane C. Wadhams. He died in Dallas Aug. 26, 2014.  He was pre-deceased by his parents and an aunt, Rita F. Coffin, all of NY and Tennessee.

He is survived by sons Rob Wadhams of Vermont, Drew Wadhams of Texas,  by daughters Katie (Ruth) Marsh of the UK, Kerry Wadhams of Vermont, Molly (Derek) Whittington of Louisiana, and Becky (Mike Cavallaro) Wadhams, of Texas,by grandchildren Jacob of the UK and Annabel of Texas, and by sister Maryjane (John Stiles) Wadhams of TN.

John earned a B.A. in music from the University of Tennessee, M.Div. from Asbury Theological Seminary, and had completed all but his dissertation for the Ph.D. in philosophy of religion from Southern Methodist University.  A remarkably gifted teacher, he was professor of philosophy at Eastfield College (Dallas County Community College District) from 2000 until his death.

During his tenure at Eastfield he organized an Ethics Center and coached debate teams that went to The Ethics Bowl, winning a number of debates against teams from large universities. John co-chaired the presidential search committee 2010-11, and served as president of the Eastfield College Faculty Association 2010-2014.

In recent years John took up SCUBA diving, becoming an instructor. Not stopping there, he began the swimming-cycling-running of triathlons. In this sport he became part of a close circle of team mates and friends.

John’s family wishes to thank:

  • 5th floor nursing staff at the Pickens Cancer Hospital, especially Libby and Kelli
  • the staff at Sammons Cancer Center, especially Drs. Mennel and Cowey
  • his friends and colleagues at Eastfield College, especially Jean Conway, Mike Walker, Betsy Joseph, Jerry Henson, and Sharon Cook.
  • Shawn, Holli, his “inner circle” and the rest of his extended Dallas family

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to: Melanoma Research Foundation (, Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, American Cancer Society, or the charity of your choice.


Arrangements are under the direction of:
ARIA Cremation Service & Funeral Home
10116 E. NW Highway
Dallas, Texas 75238

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Brian Cook

May 11, 2016 11:20AM

I was a student of Professor Wadhams. It saddens me to see that he has passed. He had a very big impact on my life because he always pushed his students who showed a desire to learn. He challenged me to push what I thought were my limits and not settle for anything less than perfection. I was a member of the Ethics bowl teams for two years (year 1 and 2) and can say no one was more proud of the teams than he was. He will be fondly remembered and sorely missed.

Panya Rowe

September 17, 2015 4:19PM

I am deeply saddened to hear of Professor Wadhams' passing. I actually googled him because I wanted to tell him about my journey since graduating from Eastfield College in 2003 and that I have a Masters degree and recently applied for an adjuct professor position at Eastfield...

Professor Wadhams was hands down my favorite professor at Eastfiled College. I participated in the 2003 Ethics Bowl in Charlotte, North Carolina. I remember we were the only Community College represented there. He was an EXCELLENT coach and mentor while prepared for that competition. I will NEVER forget him... In tears as I write this... I wish I could have said goodbye.... Rest peacefully Professor, you are missed.

Your former student,


bernard james

September 09, 2014 2:24PM

i only knew u for a few months...but i was astounded at the depth of your humor and knowledge... you left your mark on all of us.. it was ann honor to know you, we will never for get you John...See u Next Round

Jim McComb

September 08, 2014 1:48AM

I met John in 1975 at the University of Tennessee when he and I were running together for seats in student government. Then I introduced him to my girlfriend and he married her! I remember him as a free spirit and a good friend. Although he and I were connected on LinkedIn, I had not seen him in nearly 40 years. My years at UT were among the best of my life, and he will always be a part of those memories. Until we meet again, John...

Holli Rogers

September 05, 2014 4:26PM

months I’m in awe of your courage, strength and dignity. I’m not sure how many of us could have faced the battle you faced with the grace and willingness you had to glide through. It was a tough race with a huge hill but you embraced it. It was an honor, my friend, you will be missed.

Sean Gassman

September 03, 2014 9:36PM

Loved and missed everyday

Sean Gassman

September 03, 2014 9:33PM

John was always on the move and that was shown in his involvement in sports, adventures, and the community. John’s life as a triathlete started on a dare. Ill prepared and way out of shape, he struggled to complete his first sprint triathlon. This painful beginning sparked something in John that never went out. He quickly joined the local Team N Training tri team. His training with the NTX chapter ignited something else unexpected, the desire to help others. John began a journey that lasted with years of training, fundraising, racing, juicing, eating healthy, eating not so healthy, and changing the lives of everyone he came into contact with.
Always the professor, he helped and encourage all around him. Teammates could count on John to aid them with their swim stroke, explain the mechanics of biking, or just give the shout out “ you are a beast, you can do it”. John always stuck around to help those struggling. He was also there for a deep intellectual talk for anybody willing to battle wits.
John has at least 20 sprints, Olympic, and 70.3 triathlons under his belt and even more bike rallies and 5ks. John registered for the big one….. Ironman 140.6 five times without ever making it to the starting line of any of them. His attempt to be an Ironman was never meant to be, plagued with accidents and surgeries. His first three were denied him after being hit by a car in Cleburne during the GoatNeck bike rally, which required shoulder surgeries and put him out of Ironman Florida 2007, 2008, and Coeur De’Alene 2008.
John’s other passion in the sports arena was SCUBA. He enjoyed many dives and since teaching was in his blood, he became a certified instructor for SCUBA. Over the years he took many underwater photographs including some amazing photos from night dives.
John found out he had melanoma after Hotter N Hell 100 mile bike rally 2012. He decided to give Ironman another try. Training hard in 2013, John overcame many obstacles, but his cancer and symptoms were always a different battle. Florida 2013 was a no go, after losing his sight on several hard rides in September, just months before the race. John’s never give up spirit immediately signed up for Ironman Arizona 2014.
Jumping into IMAZ with determination, 2014 proved to be the hardest for John. His race against cancer became his main focus. Determined to keep an active life style, John was biking and swimming just weeks before he left us. His spirit and determination impacts all. His team and friends will carry him with us as we train and race. His team will be wearing Johns name and carrying his spirit across the finish line at IMAZ this year. John is loved and missed everyday.

Shawn Valk

August 29, 2014 9:17AM

Hey boss. Gonna miss you on our training days and event days. Thanks for all the good times. Your friendship has been a blessing. Long live SJW.