October 10, 1940 – November 16, 2021
Charlotte, North Carolina – Our hero is gone and life will never be the same again.
For me (Gina), it’s hard to list the memories that I cherish the most. Sometimes the little things leave a mark on the soul. Despite a busy and successful career, our father never missed a dance recital or swimming competition. He loved to wake his family up on Saturday mornings with homemade cookies and sausages. Dad poured the milk and chilled all the glasses in the freezer, so they were very cold. He made pancakes with smiling faces. Our house was where all the children in the neighborhood gathered. Dad played “monster” and the kids jumped on his back and he crawled on his hands and knees and made loud noises. I think that could be the reason why he had back problems later in life. He would have said “it was worth it”. Dad had an analytical mind and there was no problem he couldn’t solve. He taught me to play chess from an early age. I know that learning this strategic thinking has helped me all my life. One of my greatest joys is calling daddy to tell him that his future and only grandson will be a boy. He is crying. From then on, it became known as “pop” and a new story was being written.
For me (Sherry) it’s impossible to sum up what dad meant to me, but I’ll start with a few highlights. He used well-deserved frequent flyer miles to take our family to Australia when I was 12 which motivated my love of travel. Dad visited me in Africa when I was living and working there and told me it was one of his favorite experiences of all time. He taught me the value of working hard and saving money, and he always thought of the future for the sake of the family. Dad was a constant advisor and was always the one I worked the most to be proud of. He coached me in softball and built a house pitching target to make sure I could be the best I can be at my role. Dad was the kind of man you admired and wanted to be, no matter who you were or where you came from, and I’m so lucky he was my dad.
We have been shaped by his love of tradition. He has held annual haunted houses on Halloween for many years and has always partnered with Mom in hosting Christmas Eve gatherings for friends and family. Some of his favorite things were the music by Ray Charles, the movie A Christmas Story, the sports cars, the trips around the world, our family mountain home, the fried okra, the cream of corn, the filet mignon wrapped in bacon. , Rich and Charlie salad, and broccoli pasta (recipes he got from an Italian restaurant in St. Louis). Dad was an avid golfer. Many Saturdays were devoted to the Cedarwood Country Club course. He has always covered the eighteen holes. Our dad couldn’t imagine why someone would ride a golf cart! He had an immense love of reading. He kept track of the number of books he read each year. Our father sent book summaries to his family and friends. He has been a devoted husband to Carol for 53 years and a caregiver for the last four years of her life.
He received his undergraduate degree from the University of Alabama and an MBA from Florida State University. Our father lived his life always proud of where he came from in Gadsden, Alabama, and he stuck to the values his parents instilled in him. He worked for Monsanto his entire career as a mechanical engineer, then held managerial positions in his later years and was able to take early retirement.
Our father passed away peacefully at home after a valiant battle with thyroid cancer. He was predeceased by his wife, Carol. Jim is survived by his daughters, Gina, Becky and Sherry; grandson, Ethan; sister, Jean Martin; nieces, Bonny and Lara, and their children. He is also survived by his brother-in-law, Edward and his wife, Ginger, and their family.
Special thanks to Dr. Scott Furney for his continued care and support to Jim and his family. The family would also like to thank Kristy from Hospice & Palliative Care Charlotte Region for treating him like he was his own father. For a short time he was cared for by a very special person named Jackie. She brought love and light to us all during a time full of sadness and suffering and we will always be grateful to her.
A private service to celebrate her life will be held in December for close family and friends.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be sent to the University of Alabama or Florida State University.
Arrangements are made at the Kenneth W. Poe Funeral and Cremation Service, 1321 Berkeley Ave., Charlotte, NC 28204; (704) 641-7606. Online condolences can be shared at www.kennethpoeservices.com.
Posted by Charlotte Observer on November 21, 2021.