John Bowman (JB) Harvill, Jr.
John Bowman (JB) Harvill, Jr. died on August 8, 2022, during a fight with cancer. He was born on September 6, 1931, to Madge (Donnelly) and John Harvill, Sr. He grew up in Paris, Texas, and at 15, played tenor sax in a swing band, the Billy Hub Hill Orchestra, along with some of his friends. In 1950, JB joined the Air Force and became an aircraft radar technician. He was assigned to the 4925th Test Group (Atomic) at Kirtland AFB in Albuquerque for four years. He immediately enrolled at University of North Texas, where he earned his BA and MA degrees in mathematics. In 1956, with a fresh thesis on Boolean algebra, JB walked into Texas Instruments on Lemmon Ave. in Dallas and was hired on the spot as TI’s first scientific programmer.
Computing became JB’s passion. In the 1960s as Director of the Computing Center at Southern Methodist University, he wrote Basic FORTRAN Programming. In the 1970s he achieved a PhD in computer science from SMU and met Dr. William Nylin, who became his “best friend for life” over the next 50 years.
Beginning in 1978, JB taught computer science at UNT. In 1984, he moved to Beaumont and taught computer science at Lamar University until he retired. Former students often recognized JB and thanked him for teaching them, crediting him for their own success in computer-related fields. He always said, “All I ever wanted to be was a college professor!”
JB loved to photograph his family and his church family, and he loved nature photography. JB exhibited his photographs in many local events and photography and art contests. JB was preceded in death by his mother and father, Madge and John; wife, Natalie; wife, Sherry; stepson Gray Wear; brothers-in-law, Bill and David Bares; and nephew, Brandt Bares. JB is survived by his wife, Dianna; sister, Daisy; brothers-in-law, Tommy and Roy Bares; son, John III (Jenny); stepchildren, Mike and Ben Smith, Frank Wear, and Kiz Costin (Bill); and many nieces, nephews, grandchildren and great-grandchildren, Kandice Borling (Peter), Emily Borling, Joe Bares-Doucet and Chris Bares, Samantha and Isabel Bares, Austin Wear, Lauren and Hailey Costin, Chris Myers, Wren Myers, Kaitlyn “Kay Kay” Myers, Bentley Lane, Chelsea Wilson (Kevin), Kayley Wilson, Michael Smith, John IV and Matthew Harvill.
A gathering of Dr. Harvill’s family and friends will be from 6:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m., Friday, August 12, 2022, at Broussard’s, 1605 North Major Drive, Beaumont. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 10:00 a.m., Saturday, August 13, 2022, at St. Pius X Catholic Church, 5075 Bigner Road, Beaumont, with Reverend Oli Arulsamy and Reverend Francis Conroy concelebrating. His interment will follow at Forest Lawn Memorial Park, Beaumont, in the Veteran’s Memorial Garden.
In lieu of flowers, family and friends may offer memorial donations to St. Pius X Catholic Church, 5075 Bigner Road, Beaumont, Texas 77703 where JB volunteered for many years as the church photographer.
Gathering of Family and Friends
Broussard’s Mortuary Major Dr.
- 1605, North Major Drive, Beaumont, Texas, 77713,
- August 12, 2022
- 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Mass of Christian Burial
St. Pius X Catholic Church
- 5075, Bigner Rd, Beaumont, TX, 77708,
- August 13, 2022
- 10:00 am
Forest Lawn Memorial Park
- 4955, Pine St, Beaumont, TX, 77703,
Prayers and sympathy for you and your family Dianna. May he rest peacefully in the arms of Jesus and perpetual light shine upon him.
So sorry for your loss. Sending prayers to you and your family! Sheila and Ronald Darby