Jim Karr, former school board member, dies

Jim Karr

(Editor’s Note–James W. “Jimmy” Karr, Sr. passed away in a Houston hospital on Saturday, July 20. Karr was a longtime forester and school board member. He was recipient of many civic awards and was very active in the community in many aspects to include schools in his district, sports, and his church.)

James W. (Jimmy) Karr, Sr. born Sept. 29, 1936 in Merryville went to be with Jesus early Saturday morning July 20, 2019 surrounded by his family at M.D. Anderson.

He was a graduate of Merryville High School, where he was an outstanding athlete in both football and basketball.

He was a graduate of McNeese State University in 1958 receiving his BS Degree in Forestry.

Upon graduation from McNeese, Jimmy was employed by Edgewood Land and Logging Co., Owens Illinois, and Temple Inland as Supervisor of Timber Lands. Jimmy supervised the surveying of the Sabine River Railroad going in to the Owens Illinois Paper Mill when it was being built and was responsible for timber going in to the Temple Inland Mill of DeQuincy. He was employed 42 years in the Timber Industry and was a member of the LA Forestry Association. He was also chairman of the Committee on Timber for the DeQuincy Centennial Celebration.

Jimmy served as Calcasieu Parish School Board member for 24 years. During those years, he served as President of the Board and Chairman of all committees. He served on the LSBA Committee for legislation. His great joy was when the Bond Election passed to build a new elementary school on the west side of DeQuincy, and when major repairs and renovations were made to the DeQuincy Primary School. Shortly after he was elected, a Bond Election was passed in Starks for major repairs, and in 2003, an additional Bond Election was passed to make more repairs and improvements to the Starks’ school. When the board allowed the shop to be built, that was a major accomplishment. This was much needed and is such an asset to Starks’ school and the community.

Jimmy was of the Methodist Faith and a member of the DeQuincy United Methodist Church. He served as Chairman of the Administrative Board, Church School Teacher, UMYF Leader, Chairman of the Finance Committee, and Chairman of Evangelists. He was a member of the Methodist Men’s Organization.

Jimmy received the Civic Service Award from the DeQuincy Chamber of Commerce in 1982 for service to the city of DeQuincy. He also received the Civic Pride Award from the Civic Club, the FFA Award for service from the State FFA, and the J.G. Vinson Memorial Award for Outstanding Community Service by the DeQuincy Rotary Club.

In 1958 when Jimmy settled in DeQuincy, he quickly became a DeQuincy sports fan after years of being a sports fan in his hometown of Merryville. After he was elected School Board member and became acquainted with Starks’ folks, he became a sports fan there also. He enjoyed attending football, basketball, baseball and softball games, and traveling far and wide to see them play. During his earlier years, he coached Dixie Youth Baseball where he served as President. He also served as President of the DeQuincy Tiger Athletic Booster Club. During those years, he led the Booster Club in the fundraiser “Anything Goes” where $15,000 was raised for DeQuincy Athletes. He also helped raise $5,000 for the Softball Organization in DeQuincy.

He enjoyed fishing at Toledo Bend with his son, Weldon, and brothers, Larry, and Len.

His hobby and small business was making “Mayhaw Jelly”. The great joy came when the jelly was perfect, very clear, jelled just right, and most of all when folks told him how much they like it. He shipped jelly as far as Arizona.

Jim and wife, Lillian enjoyed traveling and have been in almost all of the United States, Mexico, and Canada. They especially enjoyed traveling with friends, Bennie and Ann Heath.

Jimmy’s greatest joy was being with his family. He loved watching his grandchildren play sports. His great-grandchildren and children have brought him much joy. He and Lillian were married 62 years.

He is survived by wife, Lillian Cooper Karr; daughter, Dianne Armentor and husband, Joey; son, James Weldon Karr Jr., and wife, Jessica; daughter, Brenda Warden and husband, Mark; grandchildren, Laci LaBry and husband, Stephen, James Weldon Karr III, Whitnee Brame and husband, Ryan, Charlcee Dahlquist, and Karlee Dahlquist; great-grandchildren, Dallas Karr, Payslee Dahlquist, Ivee Dahlquist, Lane LaBry, Brendan Brame, Sicilee Conner, Ramsee Dahlquist, Landon Vige, Jolea Karr, Lillian Brame, Adah LaBry; brothers, Larry Jo Karr, and wife Carolyn, L. H. McWilliams Jr., and wife Cindy; and sister, Eva M. Stark, and husband Pard.

He was preceded in death by his father, J. E Karr; mother, Delores Nichols McWilliams and husband L. H McWilliams; sisters, Sherry Karr Deason; and Ellen Marie Allen.

Jimmy loved the Lord, and his family. He believed in being kind and always doing the right thing toward all.

The Homegoing Service will be held Wednesday, July 24, at 10 a.m., at The Pentecostal Church of DeQuincy. The visitation was Tuesday, July 23, at The Pentecostal Church from 4 until 8 p.m. Rev. T. D. Cardwell, Rev. Wayne Neyland, Rev. Marshall Baggett and Rev. Rolly Walker will officiate. Interment will be at Cooper Cemetery in Merryville.

Arrangements are being handled by Riley Smith Funeral Home, 1810 W. Fourth St., DeQuincy.

(Paid Memorial)