James Flournoy Wood, Jr.

Published 3:00 am Saturday, August 18, 2018

On March 12, 1925, a great man, James Flournoy Wood, Jr. was born to Jessie Frank and Flournoy Wood in the small town of Rutledge, Alabama.  James grew up and attended school in Crenshaw County. He could tell you some real stories about Glenwood.  While attending high school in Luverne at the age of 16, he drove a school bus route.  However, during his senior year at the age of 18, his draft notice arrived.

On July 23, 1943, James entered the United States Army.  He proudly served his country and fought during World War II.  He was honored to be a member of General George Patton’s Third Army.  On December 9, 1947, James received his discharge papers and returned home to Luverne, Alabama.

Less than three weeks after returning home, he met the love of his life, Emma Jean Lott.  It was love at first sight for both and they were soon secretly married. James’s first job after returning home was helping to establish electrical service to rural areas in Alabama that still did not have power lines in 1948. He had a tan that only got darker and darker as the summer ended from the creosote poles and sun. James was traveling on his much-loved Harley Davidson motorcycle and would typically stay in a boarding house or wherever was available at the time. Some of the areas or cities that he worked during this time were Chatom, Linden, Cloud and Demopolis.

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On March 6, 1949, a son, James III, was born, and James worked out a two-week notice with his current employer.  He brought his tools home late Saturday night never to be on the road again, working away from home and family.  Early Sunday morning, he dressed in his suit and tie and went to his sister’s home in Goshen to take his family home.  The next day he reported to his new job with the City of Luverne as a trainee on the line crew.  Not only was he now home with his family at night, but also enjoyed lunch with them each day. Soon, James III was associating the sound of the Harley-Davidson with his father and knew his father would be home soon. James joined the volunteer fire department in Luverne along with enlisting in the National Guard.  He began to live a normal life with friends and family.

The City of Troy was rebuilding their electrical lines and needed linemen. James was one of these hired by them and he began a new career with the City of Troy Utility Department.  He wore many different hats during his 31 years of service with the City of Troy Utilities Department. Being the electrical inspector won him the nickname of “Hawk Eyes”. While his career with the city continued to grow, so did his community and social services.  Some of these activities and services included: Troy Volunteer Fire Department (31 years), church and various church activities (choir, Sunday School Superintendent, The Official Board, MYF Leader), PTA, band booster, permanent band chaperone, little league baseball coach and Cub Scout Leader.  In 1969, he received the Community Leader of America Award for recognition of past achievements and outstanding service to his community and state. 

After 31 years of service with the City of Troy, James retired to accept a position with Wells and Tate Commercial Electrical Company in Meridianville, Alabama.  James and Emma Jean lived there for five years.  They returned to their farm in Troy and began to spend their time in their daylily garden, Wood’s Hideaway.  Both of them loved to be outside and they loved flowers.  James would spend numerous hours working to make beds, plant flowers and even cross breed day lilies to create his own unique flowers such as “My Love James.” It was at this time that James also formed his own local commercial electrical business.

James loved his church and to worship in God’s house.  He attended Hephzibah Baptist Church for several years.  While there, he saw the needs of their senior citizens and thought what could he do? He was instrumental in the organization of the church’s first senior citizen’s group.  He later moved his membership to God’s Way Baptist Church.  James had a special gift to bond and communicate with children.  He loved them and they loved him.  They would stand at the door watching for him to arrive and run to his car to greet him on Sunday.  They would then fuss as to who would sit by him in church.  James was also active in the bus ministry, visitation and most of all, proud to be a deacon of his church. He was always willing to open his home to members and guests of God’s Way.

James loved to talk with friends and looked forward to 5:00 a.m. each week day.  That is when he would meet his McDonald’s coffee club members. They would drink coffee and talk for hours each day.  Due to his loss of eyesight, some members started coming to his house and he loved every minute of their time together.

James was a true and loving husband, father, friend and Christian. He never came across a stranger and would do anything to help someone in need. Sadly, at the age of 93, James was called to serve the Lord in a different way.  He passed away on Tuesday, July 24 surrounded by family, friends and some of his caregivers. No words can express the sincere gratitude in our hearts for the care that was given by you to our loved one.  Thank you to Laura Gordon, The V/A team, Dr. Audrey Hodge, Dr. Earline Rogers, Sara Erickson, Home Base Primary Care team, Dr. Wynn Crawford, Dr. Sarjeen Singh, Dr. Eric Law, Kayla Fulton, Teela Sanders, the Compassus Team, Vanessa Baker, Felecia Smith, Jennifer Anderson, Mary Johnson, Melissa Williams and Regina Hamm. A special thank you to Kayla Fulton, Teela Sanders and Amy Drinkard. You have a God-given talent for helping people in need.

A small private service was held at Green Hill Funeral Home on July 28 with the Reverend Chad Teal and Reverend Craig Holmes officiating.  A eulogy was given by his granddaughter, Hope, with interment at Green Hills Memorial Park Cemetery.  He was carried to his grave site by horse-drawn carriage where a military service was observed.  Honorary pallbearers were: George Brown, Sheryl Crowe, Celesta Everage, Ray W. Floyd, Wyman Ham, Charles Meeks, Red Oliver, John Weed and Mike Williams.

James leaves behind his wife of 70 years, Emma Jean Wood, his son, James F. Wood III, his three granddaughters and great granddaughter, Maddie.  He also leaves behind a host of family and friends. If you would like to do something in remembrance of James, please consider hanging a bird feeder, planting a tree or some flowers, or even putting up a blue bird house.  He would love to know others received as much joy as he did of these things.