Irby Franklin James August 27, 1935 – March 25, 2022
Today we temporarily say goodbye and celebrate the amazing life of Franklin James who slipped the surly bonds of this earth today, March 25, 2022, to be with his Lord and those that went before him.
Growing up in Madison County, the son of the late Irby and Mary Scarbrough James, he learned farming at an early age. Working hard and being a sharp businessperson, he built a beautiful life raising his children with his high school sweetheart and wife of 67 years, Dot James. He was well known for his soft voice, gentle temperament, reliability and his love for his family, his Lord, and so many friends over the years. He was active in church all his life, serving many years as deacon, teacher, and example of the gentle love of Jesus throughout his life.
Franklin loved hunting and fishing and the outdoors. Many stories and priceless memories of crappie fishing, duck, quail and dove hunting with family, friends, and neighbors over so many years. Franklin taught his kids to water ski, his son to hunt and instilled in his kids a sense of integrity and the understanding that “your word is your bond” which he repeated many times over the years. He was a source of wisdom and encouragement to his family and so many others as it related to farming and life itself. He was amazingly versatile and could fix anything from a tractor or bulldozer to electrical wiring of their home or a child’s toy. His playfulness and dry sense of humor kept laughter and joy in our home. He enjoyed playing tricks on his family members which we all loved. Despite many challenges throughout life, he was always resilient and found a way to persevere. There were many sayings and quotes that were unique to Franklin which also live in our hearts.
Franklin loved farming and the land and still lived in the family home he and Dot built in 1954 when they got married. He received awards for Outstanding Young Farmer twice and was awarded Outstanding Cooperator in 2003 for his wise and ethical management of our natural resources. He received many other awards relating to conservation practices and served as Chairman of the Madison County Soil Conservation District Board of Directors from 1975-2003 as well as the Board of Directors of the West Tennessee Basin Authority under the Department of Environment and Conservation. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame of the Southeast Region Conservation Partnership in 2005. He strongly believed in preserving our farm and natural resources for future generations to come and was loved and respected by so many throughout the years.
Franklin is survived by his wife, Dot James of Jackson, TN, his children, David (wife Melissa) James of Jackson, TN and Janet James of Thompson Station, TN, his grandchildren, Megan (husband Michael) Mason, Noah James and Hannah James, and his great grandchild, James Mason.
SRVICES: The family will offer a time of visitation on Monday, March 28, 2022, from 1:00 PM until 3:00 PM at Arrington Funeral Directors in Jackson, TN., followed by a graveside service at Browns Church Cemetery at 4:00 PM with Rev. Kendrick Lewis officiating
In Lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Englewood Baptist Church, 2239 N. Highland Ave., Jackson, TN 38305 ebcjackson.org or St Jude Children’s Research Hospital, PO Box 1000, Dept. 142, Memphis, TN 38148 stjude.org.
Arrington Funeral Directors, 148 W. University Parkway, Jackson, TN 38305