A service to celebrate J.L.’s life will be held at the Chapel at Forest Meadows Cemetery Central on March 12, 2022 at 2:00 p.m. Interment will follow at Forest Meadows Cemetery Central. Arrangements are under the care of Forest Meadows Funeral Home, Gainesville, Florida, (352) 378-2528, https://forestmeadowsfh.com
Friends and family will remember J.L. for his quiet manner, quick smile, strong work ethic, love of nature, unquenchable sweet tooth, and a God-given talent in his hands for fixing things.
Born in Orange Heights on June 16, 1940, J.L. was raised in rural Alachua County. He proved himself to be strong and capable while working the farm alongside his family. Later, as a teenager, he was encouraged by a local mechanic to try his hands at tuning up and fixing cars, which ultimately turned into J.L.’s calling and lifelong career.
Not only did J.L. know his way around an engine block, but he was also steady behind the wheel. Starting as a teenager and into his adult years, J.L. and his fellow drivers made names for themselves on the drag racing circuit. Now a 4-lane highway, Florida State Road 441 was a dirt road for most of the years that J.L. was racing—and winning—in his home-built Chevys.
For six decades, J.L worked as a car mechanic. His reputation for honesty and outstanding workmanship eventually led him to open and operate J.L.’s Auto Repair in Gainesville for many years until he retired in his late 70s.
In 1984, J.L. married Judy. Kindred spirits with tender hearts, J.L. and Judy regularly and quietly performed countless acts of kindness for the people in their lives. J.L. never asked for anything in return, except maybe a Snickers bar or the exchange of funny stories. J.L. excelled at kidding around and teasing the people he loved best.
When he wasn’t working on cars or perfecting his lawn, J.L. sought other ways to enjoy life in the great outdoors. He liked hiking and horseback riding but motorcycle rides, a day on the boat, or a relaxed weekend drive with Judy or his sons were among his favorite memories.
J.L. is predeceased in death by his parents Willie Mae (Bender) and Maceo Tison; wife Judy (Broutman) Tison; and his brother Harry W. Tison, Sr.
J.L. is survived by his two sisters Katherine Brown (Lawtey, FL) and Ruby Dean (Waldo, FL) and her husband Ralph; his two sons John (Alachua, FL) and Tim (Gainesville, FL); one grandchild; one great-grandchild; and his extended family and community of friends.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in J.L.’s name to the Humane Society of North Central Florida: https://www.humanesocietyncfl.org
Condolences may be left in J.L.’s online guestbook at https://forestmeadowsfh.com/obituaries/john-j-l-luther-tison-sr/