STEDMAN, N.C. — John Ollin Munn, “Big Daddy”, 68 years young, of Stedman, N.C., entered into eternal peace on Thursday, September 8, 2016, at his home. He was born on February 21, 1948, the only son to Daniel Campbell Munn and Hazel Rich Munn Bullard in Tar Heel, N.C.
Appropriately nicknamed “Big Daddy”, John was blessed with considerable athletic ability. He was a three sport letterman and All-Conference in football at Tar Heel High School. Soon after graduating in 1966, John enlisted in the army, where he excelled in leading young men and quickly became a Drill Sergeant. While stationed in Fort Knox in Kentucky, John earned numerous awards for exemplary service in training new enlistees. John’s six years of service to his country included a 13-month tour in Vietnam, where he was stationed in Thailand.
After leaving the army in 1974, John attended Elon University for three years on the G.I. Bill. Reconnecting with his love for athletics, he was able to be a student coach and did scouting for the football team, providing valuable intelligence for upcoming opponents.
When John left Elon, he didn’t stray from his passion for sports. He opened Olympic Gym on Bragg Blvd.in Fayetteville, which he soon affiliated with a popular franchise called Gold Gym and grew it into one of Fayetteville’s largest gyms. Eventually, he dropped the franchise and fittingly started calling his business Big Daddy’s Gym.
John’s influence in strength training reached beyond his Fayetteville location. Local football recruits from his beloved N.C. State took advantage of John’s knowledge and strength training programs. During these years of helping people reach their fitness and strength goals, John made friends for a lifetime.
John eventually sold his gym and moved to Stedman, where he started a career as a guard with the N.C. Department of Corrections until he retired in 2011. During his 12 years in this profession, he was recognized by his peers as a team player. He frequently volunteered to work during holidays and especially at Christmas so those with families and young children could have more time at home. John loved to cook and grill with his colleagues. They frequently gathered at his home for meals and watching football on TV.
John was an avid fan of athletics and especially loved N.C. State. College football and the pageantry associated with the games, especially tailgating with friends, was one of his favorite weekend activities. Declining health in recent years limited his ability to watch N.C. State football games from inside Carter-Finley stadium. Even with his challenging physical condition, Charles Holland and his son, Chuck, would drive him to games so he could enjoy tailgating. He listened to the game on the radio and could hear applause and roar from the stadium.
John had many outward indicators of his love for N.C. State. From the strutting wolf on his vehicles to the banners in his home and even painting his front porch red, there was no doubt of his allegiance.
He leaves behind to cherish his memory his sisters Donna Jean Williams of Tar Heel, N.C. and Inez Munn Cothran of Mt. Airy, N.C.; a special nephew, Jack K. Moore, of Mt. Pleasant, S.C.; several nieces and nephews; and many friends.
In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his sister, Faye Virginia Munn; his step-father, H. Wilson Bullard; a beloved niece, Tammy Cothran Moore; and a great-nephew, Johnathan Crumpler.
The family would like to express sincere gratitude to special friends and neighbors Brenda and Craig (“Maytag”) Whitlow, who generously and graciously helped care for John, along with the Meals on Wheels program at Stedman Baptist Church.
A graveside service will be held on Sunday, September 25, 2016, at 2:30 p.m. at Oak Ridge Cemetery in St. Pauls, N.C. with the Rev. Steve Mancos officiating. Those planning to attend the graveside service are encouraged to wear red in honor of John’s love of N.C. State.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made in John’s honor to Stedman Baptist Church, Attn: Meals on Wheels, P.O. Box 190, Stedman, N.C. 28391.
Services for the family were provided by Saint Pauls Funeral Home, St. Pauls, N.C. Online condolences may be made by visiting www.saintpaulsfuneralhome.com.