I am not sure how long it will be before the Hendrix family decides to do some sort of memorial for James Hendrix, but this family needs to take a moment to reflect upon his life given to the glory of God.
Obituary revised from Cordell Beacon post.
James Woodrow Hendrix, 90, of Burns Flat passed away Aug. 22, 2020 after a full life of loving God and his family.
He was born June 17, 1930, to Thomas Alfred and Verna Jane (Stone) Hendrix of Hobart. His father died in 1944, and James joined the Army at age 17 to help support his family.
He was stationed in Panama as a chaplain’s assistant and served two years. He came home and married his sweetheart, Wanita Adams, on August 26, 1950. When James passed, he and Wanita were only four days short of celebrating their 70th wedding anniversary.
James was called back to active duty by the Army during the Korean War and was stationed in Fort Sill, Oklahoma, until his honorable discharge in 1953.
In civilian life, James found work as a seismographer, working in grain storage, and operating the printing press at The Cordell Beacon. In 1960, he moved his young family to Oklahoma City and began working on the printing press for OPUBCO. Along the way, he attended college at Altus Junior College, Rose State College and Oklahoma State University. He was a loyal OSU fan, and he also dabbled in real estate in the metro area.
In 1987, after 25 years at OPUBCO, James retired and moved back home to western Oklahoma. Retirement didn’t suit him and so he renovated older houses, worked for Western Technology Center in Burns Flat, and served as an elder in the Burns Flat Cumberland Presbyterian Church, where he was a longtime member.
James entered the Army before graduating from high school but did earn his general equivalency diploma when he got out of the service. In his later years, he mentioned his desire for a high school diploma to his next-door neighbor, Marva Webb, who is on the Burns Flat-Dill City school board. With her help and that of the BFDC superintendent, James was awarded a high school diploma in 2015 at age 84. It was the fulfillment of a longtime dream.
James is survived by his beloved wife, Wanita; sons Steve, Chad and wife Holly Clanahan, and Richard and fiancée Rochelle Higgins; and grandchildren James L. II, Jacob and Leeann. He was preceded in death by a son, James Loy, and a granddaughter, Angel.
With his final instructions, James reminded his family to hold fast to the truths in 1 Corinthians 13.
If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.
And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.
James and I had many good years together, not as many as some of you, but very good years. It was tough when James lost much of his speech due to a stroke for conversations with him were rich and fulfilling.
While at the old building, James and I filled the pulpit on alternate Sundays for many months until James declared that we needed a third wheel and we corralled Rick Ellis into the rotation. It wasn’t too much longer before Duawn was on board, but James would preach again.
James and I served on the session together while we were still in the old building. James couldn’t make a session meeting one time and he told me that we thought alike and I was to vote by proxy for him.
I told James that I didn’t think the rules permitted that, but those were his instructions. At that meeting, we needed to elect an elder delegate to represent the congregation at Presbytery which was in Tulsa. No one present could attend the scheduled meeting, so that left James.
We nominated and elected James to go to Presbytery.
I was instructed by the session to inform James. I did. James said, “What?”
I reminded James that he told me to vote for him by proxy. You should have seen his look when I told him that not only did I vote for him, but that he did too.
I don’t recall James ever missing another session meeting.
James and I shared a passion for writing. When he was in the hospital many years ago, I brought him one of my brain teasers books, hoping it would help him pass his hours of incarceration.
James was asleep when I arrived and in my perspective, sleeping is better than working the mind benders in one of my books. I left a card and a book, said a prayer, and left.
I told Wanita about it and she asked if I got the show. I didn’t understand. Apparently, James got cold in the hospital room so he would reach down and pull up the covers. He didn’t know that he couldn’t reach the covers, only the edge of his hospital gown, which he pulled up over his chest, leaving his bottom half on full display.
When I started PAS, I had some conversations with Reverend Norlan Scrudder and he kept mentioning this guy named Buster from the Burns Flat church. I had no idea who he was talking about but learned that back in the day, many called James by the name of Buster.
I don’t think that James cared for that name and I surely never used it with him.
After his stoke, I got a few calls from Wanita because she couldn’t understand James. She put James on the phone and I gave him the answer to his question. It’s not that I could understand what he said any better than anyone else, it’s that we truly found ourselves commuting on the same train of thought many times.
Those were good commutes.
I hope that one day we can have a full worship service to bring glory to God and to celebrate the life of this wonderful man, where many more may enjoy the celebration.
I pray that one day soon, Wanita may enjoy a meal with her friends. She was worried that they might all be gone, but I assured here she still had plenty of friends here.
What can I say about James?
He ran the good race.
He fought the good fight.
He kept the faith.
And in addition to my application of Paul’s words, I’ll add, he preached the good news .
How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? And how can anyone preach unless they are sent? As it is written: “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news.”
We know that now there is in store for James a crown of righteousness.
Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day—and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing.
We love you James. We love you Wanita, and we wanted to say that sooner than later.