Jim Eakes (1940-2007)

by David Shannon

Jim Eakes was a hardworking family man who loved the church. He was born in a log home on Stones River in Donelson. His family moved to MJ when he was in 3rd grade. Jim and his sister Dot Hudson have been a part of this congregation for approximately 60 years. He was baptized and married in the old block building. It was fitting during the funeral service to have a natural floral arrangement tied to the pew which marked his seat. He had been faithful to the Lord for decades. His roots and persistence have helped grow the next generation’s faith as well.

While Jim was in high school, he married Carolyn Conaster. One of his friends set him up on a blind date with the girl he described as “the prettiest thing to ever come out of Possum Town.” The young couple began with little, but continued to work. Jim worked in 8th grade delivering groceries for Jennings Grocery here in MJ. He later worked for a surveyor, for Anderson Hicky as a welder, then Avco, and eventually at DuPont for about 30 years. After several years with DuPont he went back to school in order to become a millwright at DuPont. Jim was a hard worker. As a matter of fact, he enjoyed working hard. As a newly wed he was laid off from Avco and immediately began hauling hay and gathering walnuts. He and Carolyn even picked gallons of blackberries to pay the bills. Throughout his life he enjoyed hard work. He would rather dig fence posts by hand, even though he had a tractor and posthole diggers in the barn. On one farm he hand dug more than two miles of fence posts instead of using the tractor. Perhaps Mike’s explanation of this will help: “He has always done everything the hard way, I don’t know why, that’s just the way it was. But Dad always taught us to be hard workers at whatever we did and to do it right.”

Jim and Carolyn raised two boys right. Tony and Mike and their families are a rich blessing to this congregation. Their wives Alisa and Stacy and children are all faithful. Jim’s mother and grandfather were also a part of this congregation, blessing our church family with five generations. The Eakes are friendly, hard working, peaceful, and faithful. We love and appreciate this family so much.

Jim was a quiet man who preferred to be in the background. His faithfulness to his family and the Lord produced an influential life. The love for Jim and his family was demonstrated by hundreds attending the visitation and funeral. The lines were extremely long. The flowers filled the auditorium and even lined the foyer. John Thomas’ words, poem, and prayer painted a portrait of a great man. Brett Fulford’s comments, the reading of Mike’s letter and closing prayer gave us deep insight into the life of a man worthy of honor.

Jim loved his Lord, his family, and the Lord’s church. He taught his family to do the same. He is greatly missed, but his works do follow him and bless us. He is dearly missed. Our prayers are with his family.