John Thomas Dent, 72, of North Little Rock, Arkansas passed away peacefully on Monday, June 15, 2020, surrounded by family and music.
Born to Perry Gene Dent and Susie Bell Dent (née Deaver) on July 5, 1947, John attended Sylvan Hills High School before his acceptance to the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville. As the country found itself drawn into conflict overseas, John made the decision to enlist in the Air Force, where he served as a Sergeant in Vietnam before returning home in 1972. He met his wife, Karol Ann, that same year while both were working at Dillard's department store in North Little Rock. Karol would find convincing excuses to visit John in his department, and the two were destined to quickly fall in love. They were married in Scottsdale, Arizona in 1976, while John was attending Graduate School earning his Master's Degree in International Management. He would go on to join the United States Postal Inspection Service in 1981, a career he would serve in passionately for the next two decades, while Karol pursued a career in Elementary Education. John was blessed with two sons, Joshua Logan in 1983 and Justin Lee in 1987, and was as dedicated to his role as a father as he was his duties to the Inspection Service. He went on to retire in 2004, earning numerous accolades during his 23 years of service, and would often return as an expert witness for court cases involving malfeasance such as price fixing and insider trading. He instilled this spirit of justice and ethics in his two sons, making sure they knew right from wrong, never once through anger but only by gentle explanation. After both boys graduated High School in Houston and moved on to start their own journeys in Austin, Texas, John and Karol returned to North Little Rock where they had first met to reunite with a loving group of family and friends.
His love of work and family was matched only by his love for music, a passion that was reawakened in his retirement years with newfound time to travel, collect records, or simply relax by his beloved turntable. John was an encyclopedia of musical knowledge, ranging from early Rock and Roll to Motown; 60's protest anthems, the Beatles, and what his sons would affectionately refer to as “80's Dad Rock.” The spare linen closets that once overflowed with baseball cards now found themselves bursting at the hinges with lovingly cataloged vinyl records. Whether through the gentle insistence of Karol, or John's own entrepreneurial spirit, he devoted his spare time to selling albums at local antique stores and flea markets, a task he would relish for the rest of his life.
John was diagnosed with Lung Cancer in 2019 and began his rounds of chemotherapy with a staunchly positive attitude, constantly reassuring his family and enduring his trials with his signature brand of dark humor. There were ups and downs, good news and bad news, but John always managed to look on the bright side. He continued to travel as long as he was able, attending Razorback games, and attempting something that resembled dancing at George's Majestic Lounge, his favorite live music venue in Fayetteville. Sadly, John's cancer continued to spread despite his overwhelmingly positive attitude and dedication to his health and well-being.
During this difficult, frightening time, John made the decision to live out the remainder of his days at home with Karol. He spent them sitting on the porch with his cat Xerox, calling his sons to tell them the great deal he had gotten on a box of albums, and visiting with his family and friends every chance he got. He and Karol were supported dutifully by the congregation of Sylvan Hills United Methodist Church during such a trying time, and found great comfort in their wisdom and familial spirit. As his time on Earth drew to a close, they gathered at his bedside to comfort him with song as he embarked on his final, greatest adventure. John always reassured us that he would one day be reunited with his loved ones in the Eternal Hereafter. He was a loving husband, a patient, caring father, and lifelong friend to many.
John is survived by his loving wife of 44 years, Karol; his sons. Joshua and Justin; daughter in law, Kari; sister and brother in law, Linda and Harold Johnson; niece, Susan Winn and her husband, James; nephew, Brian Duhon and wife Lela; cat, Xerox, and more friends, family, and near mint condition albums than one could ever hope to accumulate in a single lifetime. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to be made to Arkansas Hospice.
A celebration of John's life will be held at 10:30AM Friday, May 14, 2021 at Sylvan Hills United Methodist Church with interment following at Arkansas State Veterans Cemetery at noon. The service will be livestreamed via Sylvan Hills United Methodist Church facebook page.
To send flowers to John's family, please visit our floral store.
14 Parkstone Circle, North Little Rock AR 72116