On Wednesday, May 4, 2022, John Charles Abernathy, known to many as “Country John”, passed away after a stoic battle with cancer at the age of 82.
John was a man of a bygone era born December 17, 1939 and grew up in Ceres, CA. John served his country in the US Army for 21 years, retiring as a Sergeant First Class. He completed two tours of duty during the Vietnam War and was a Bronze Star recipient. His second career followed his passion for country music and Western culture working for BMI in broadcast music licensing. He was an avid cowboy poet and Emmy nominated song writer for his song “Runnin’ in the West”. He was inducted into the NM Country Music Hall in 2018. He will always be remembered for his grit, strong work ethic, quick wit, sense of humor, and always the willingness to grab a cup of coffee and share one of his many stories. Goodbye Country, now you’re a part of watching over the Grand Pastures in the Sky.
John is survived by his loving wife of 37 years, Kathleen; his four children, Debbie, Johnny, Sam, and Seth; three stepchildren, Jerome, Jess, and Joe; and numerous grandchildren.
A Funeral Mass will be held at 10:30am on June 27, 2022 at St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church in Rio Rancho, New Mexico, with Burial to follow at 12:30pm at Santa Fe National Cemetery in Santa Fe, NM.