John Edward Bedingfield was born November 9th, 1937, in Cross Plains, Texas to James Exie (Bet) and Ollie Betrice (Harlow) Bedingfield and moved to Artesia when he was 2 months old, and his soul took flight February 19th, 2023.
Artesia was always home to John, and he graduated from Artesia High School in 1956. Following graduation, he briefly graced the campus of the School of Mines in Socorro, NM and ultimately returned to Artesia and achieved his electrician training under the mentorship of Homer Kyle.
The oil and gas industry were in John's genes- passed onto him from his father Bet. From a young age he invested his strong work ethic and unquestionable integrity into working not only on his family leases and interests, but also those of Mack Chase and Johnny Gray - men he was proud to call friends. Affectionally nicknamed 'Meatball', John retired from Marbob in June 1999.
John was passionate about people, and a guardian by nature. For years he planted, nurtured and maintained a large garden in Riverside that was open to anyone who wanted or needed fresh vegetables for their families. He spent countless hours at JC Park ensuring the ballfields were 'top notch' for Artesia Youth, announced games, and ensured that kids who wanted to participate were given a chance, and always had a ride.
He was an avid hunter - whether rifle, bow or muzzle loader, and rarely (if ever) missed an open season. He spent hours walking the hills in New Mexico, Texas and Colorado.
His home was consistently filled with the sounds of the live music being played by Junior Daugherty, W.F. Whatley, Wayne and Curtis Bedingfield and so many more- while the balls on the snooker table were racked and broke, and the homemade ice cream churned and the burgers cooked on the grill. John's home had an 'open door policy' and if you needed it, and he had it, he would share it with you - if it was a place to sleep, a meal to eat, a phone to call home, a challenging game of pool, or a listening ear with honest, sage advice; if you gave him 10 minutes, he'd give you 20 back.
After retiring, he continued to invest in lives of others through his gardening and baking. Can the number of wine cakes and cookies baked and delivered even be counted? Those who knew him know that these acts were expressions of his love and care for them.
John was proceeded in death by his parents, Bet and Bea, brothers, James Exie Jr. and Wayne Bedingfield, and sisters, Della Francis Bedingfield, Lorene Lewis, and Beca Sue Standard.
John made a tremendous impact on the lives that he crossed, and he will be greatly missed. His legacy will live on in all who knew and loved him. To list his family that survives him would be pointless as the list would be long and detailed - if John knew and loved you, you were family.
A Celebration of Life for all his friends and family will be held at Terpening and Son Mortuary Chapel, Artesia, Friday, March 24, 2023 from 2:00pm - 3:00pm. A live stream of the celebration can be accessed at www.artesiafunerals.com (link in John's obituary on the website).