KILGORE — Services for Jimmy Earl Mankins Sr., 87, longtime trucking operator and former member of the Texas Legislature, of Kilgore, will be 10 a.m. Friday, August 23, 2013, at First Presbyterian Church in Kilgore, with the Rev. Scott Nowack officiating. Burial will follow in Kilgore Cemetery. Mr. Mankins died Tuesday, August 20, 2013, in Longview, Texas.
James Earl Mankins Sr. was born February 9, 1926, in Electra, Texas, to A.E and Thelma Inez Cooper Mankins, deceased. He moved to Kilgore at the age of 5. After graduating from Kilgore High School, he attended Texas A&M University
, but his education was interrupted when he joined the military in 1944.
Mr. Mankins was in the United States Army
Air Force as a tail gunner during World War II
. After the war, Mr. Mankins received his Associate of Arts degree from Kilgore College in 1948. While at Kilgore College, he met and married Virginia Henley. He completed his education at North Texas State University with a Bachelor of Business Administration in 1950.
He returned to Kilgore and worked in the family business, Eagle Trucking Co. Mr. Mankins became the owner operator of Eagle Trucking Co., hauling oilfield drilling rigs and equipment and heavy hauling for more than 50 years. He started out as a driver's helper, driver, truck supervisor, assistant manager, manager and president, expanding the company to a fleet of more than 300 trucks and nine trucking terminals in several states.
Jimmy was always a hard worker, but he never expected any more from his employees than he was willing to do himself. He was a member of Oilfield Haulers Association and board member from 1960-80 and served as president from 1968-70. He was a member of Texas Motor Transportation Association board of directors from 1966-74. In 1975, Mr. Mankins was awarded the Albert Gallatin Award as Outstanding Small Business Leader in the Nation.
Mr. Mankins began his political career as a city commissioner of Kilgore in mid 1960s. In 1974, Mankins was elected to the Texas House of Representatives serving Gregg County for five terms. As a legislator, Mankins was appointed to the House Committee on Energy Resources and House Committee on Transportation, serving as chairman of various sub-committees. In 1977-78, he was chairman of Appropriative Matters on Transportation.
In 1979-80, he served as chairman of Employment Practices Committee as well as member of the Transportation Committee, and in 1983, he served on the Transportation Committee, Business and Commerce Committee and Local and Consent Calendar Committee as vice chairman.
As a long standing member of the Kilgore Rotary Club
, Mr. Mankins received the Paul Harris Fellow Award–Rotary International. He was also a member of the Kilgore Chamber of Commerce, East Texas Chamber of Commerce and Longview Chamber of Commerce.
He was the recipient of the Texas State Council of Epsilon Sigma Alpha International "Zeus Award" for outstanding work for mankind. He was an active contributor to numerous charitable organizations including Shriner's and St. Jude's Children's Hospital, Presbyterian Children and Family Services and an active member of the Danville Masonic Lodge and the Sharon Shrine Temple.
He had numerous other awards of merit and appreciation from local and area organizations.
He enjoyed being a part of First Presbyterian Church of Kilgore's congregation and enjoyed his time in the men's Sunday school class and serving as a deacon. He had a huge heart for those less fortunate and loved having all his family together for any occasion. Family was always number one. He loved taking them on trips, vacations and spur of the moment family outings.
After retiring, he continued to work as a consultant in the trucking business and working at his grandson's hardware store. He also enjoyed devoting his mornings to driving his grandchildren to school.
Jimmy is survived by his wife of 65 years, Virginia; and his children, Janie (and Carl) Harris, Jim Mankins Jr., Jenny (and Frank) Baggett, Jan (and Eddie) Warren, all of Kilgore; daughter, Lsha (and Bill) Stanley of Henderson; grandchildren, Jeff (and Alaina) Mercer, James (and Jessica) Mercer, Jimi (and Tamara) Mankins, Jamie (and Kelly) Leach, Jennifer Mankins, Jalissa and Jenaé Baggett, Jeana (and Al) Walters, Jay Philpott, Courtney Clinton, Allan (and Jennifer) Stanley and Julie (and Johnathan) Gage; great-grandchildren, Mary Bess and J.T. Mercer, Jace and Jayden Mankins, Jersi Walters, Garrett and Cooper Stanley and Kimber Gage; two nephews, Dale Henley and Jay Henley; niece, Teresa Henley Greene; cousin, Greta Phillips; several other cousins; and many friends.
The family would like to especially thank all the wonderful staff at Country Place Village for their loving care.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to First Presbyterian Church's scholarship fund or Helping Hands of Kilgore.
The family will receive friends from 6-7:30 p.m. Thursday, August 22, 2013, at Rader Funeral Home in Kilgore.