James Darrell Pounders, 81, passed away Thursday, January 16, 2014, at ECM Hospital, surrounded by his family. Visitation was Sunday from 5-8 p.m. at Greenview Funeral Home. The funeral service with military honors will be Monday at 11 a.m. in the funeral home chapel, officiated by his son-in-law, Bill Batson, with John David Richardson, Joe Rhoden and Will Batson speaking. Pallbearers will be grandsons Will Batson, Rob Batson and John Batson, and nephews Charlie Young, Tommy Richardson and Charles Glover. Interment will follow at Tri-Cities Memorial Gardens.
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He was born in Florence, Ala., on Aug. 2, 1932, to Charles Sutton Pounders and Emma Jane Ruple Pounders. He was preceded in death by his parents; his brother, Charles Pounders; and his five sisters, Polly Richardson, Susie Frye, Doris Whitman, Ruth Robinson and Kaky Moody. He is survived by his wife of almost 59 years, Frankie Mae Clemmons Pounders; a daughter, Sharon Laraine Batson, and husband, William Bailey Batson, III; three grandsons, William James Batson, Robert Bailey Batson and John Andrew Batson, and numerous family members, nieces and nephews.
He attended Kilby Elementary and Coffee High School. He was a member of the Boy Scouts of America, Troop 21. At the age of 15, he became an announcer and singer on the local radio station WMFT and then WOWL. He joined the Air Force and served during the Korean War and was a member of the American Legion. While stationed in the Philippines, his commanding officer discovered his talent for singing and playing the steel guitar, and he was assigned to travel throughout the island as part of an entertainment troop. Following his discharge from the military, he met and married the love of his life, Frankie. He continued his career as a radio announcer in Columbia, Tenn., and then as program director in Centerville, Tenn., where he interviewed entertainers such as Minnie Pearl. They moved back to Florence, where he worked in the lab at Reynolds for 12 years.
He entered Florence State College at the age of 35, while working full-time, eventually earning his B.S, M.A. and Ed.S degrees from the University of North Alabama. He was the Assistant Registrar at UNA while working on his master's degree. He began his 21-year career as an educator in 1971 with the Lauderdale County School System.
Throughout his life, his priority was always to serve God first and then his family. He was a minister of the Church of Christ, preaching in the local area since 1960, and serving as the minister of Wayland Springs Church of Christ for the past 32 years. He and his wife Frankie participated in mission campaigns to the islands of Nevis, Montserrat and Jamaica. He was actively involved in both the Limestone prison ministry and the Lauderdale Detention Center ministry until a few weeks before his passing. He used his God-given talent for broadcast journalism to minister with the long-running radio program on WKSR called "Things That Really Matter," which is still being broadcast. He truly was a living example of the fruits of the spirit.
An online guest book may be viewed and signed at greenviewmemorial.com.
Arrangements are by Greenview Funeral Home.
Published in Florence Times Daily from Jan. 19 to Jan. 20, 2014