John Bruton Sewall, 79, of Little Rock, Arkansas, passed into glory on January 8, 2024. He was born June 17, 1944, in Dallas, Texas, to the late Edwin Elye and Helen Bryant Sewall.
John grew up and attended schools in the heart of Dallas, Texas in an idyllic time when Dallas was much smaller, riding his bike all over the “M” streets of east Dallas and onto rural Northwest Highway. He served in the United States Army Reserves and completed a degree in architecture from the University of Texas at Arlington in 1973. During that same year, he married Gloria Jean Mahaffey, the love of his life, with whom he celebrated fifty years of marriage this past October. They were two adventurous souls, always looking for an opportunity and discovering many.
John worked as an architect for more than thirty years in the Dallas and Little Rock communities, working at Cornerstone Architects of Little Rock, and later working independently at Sewall Architects. Primarily, he designed office buildings, post offices, and residences, preferring to take on mostly smaller jobs, as that left more time to devote to family.
Though gifted in art and design, John was very hands-on, a builder and carpenter at heart. One of his greatest accomplishments was the total renovation of a nearly century-old house, which would become the family home for the next forty years. He left many lessons behind for his children and grandchildren in his work, such as the magnitude of what can be accomplished with time, persistence, and dedication.
In 1968, John became a follower of Jesus Christ, and he loved to tell people about the radical difference that making this decision had in both his heart and his life. In 2000, he helped bring the class Perspectives on the World Christian Movement to central Arkansas and grew in sharing God’s passion for the world’s unreached people groups. Upon his retirement from architecture in 2006, John became the office administrator of the Center for Mission Mobilization in Fayetteville, Arkansas. John served in this capacity for seven years and loved being in on the beginnings of a northwest Arkansas missions sending agency.
After a second retirement in 2013, and a move back to Little Rock, John could be found pursuing hobbies such as urban sketching, fly fishing with his friend Tom, Bible storytelling, working on woodcraft projects for his grandchildren, serving volunteer ministries with St. Andrews Anglican Church and on the Kingdom Mission Fund board, and meeting his friends for coffee. They loved to travel, having just returned from Malaysia this fall. His life message became the unhurried life journey out of the fast lane and into the rhythms of Jesus—rest deeper, live fuller, and lead better.
He is survived by his loving wife, Gloria Sewall of Little Rock, his three sons, Hayden (Marci) Sewall of Fayetteville, Arkansas; Evan (Emily) Sewall of Greer, South Carolina; and Lyle (Anne) Sewall of Peachtree City, Georgia, and his brother Edwin Sewall of Dallas, Texas. Affectionately known by his six grandchildren as “JoPop,” he will most certainly be missed by Ella, Easton, Jack, Elijah, Thomas, and Genevieve. John was preceded in death by his brother, Bryant, and sister, Elizabeth.
A Celebration of Life service will be held at St. Andrews Anglican Church in Little Rock on Thursday, January 11th at 12:00 PM.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to “Kingdom Mission Fund” at the info below:
Kingdom Mission Fund
P.O. Box 241941
Little Rock, AR 72223