He was born December 23, 1931 to Ruth and Waylon Gillentine in Van, Texas. He lived his early days there on the family farm and graduated from Van High School after playing football for the Van Vandals. On August 28, 1950 he married the pretty new girl in town, Barbara Sue Blythe and this past August they celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary. What a testament of love and devotion they were able to show their children.
James worked for Eastman Chemical Company as a shift foreman over polypropylene and retired in 1990. This allowed more time for his favorite hobby, golf which he excelled at. “Gilly”, as he was referred to on the course, may best be known as the player who shot not one, but two holes in one in consecutive months; October 1 and November 1 of 2004. He won the Oil Man’s Tournament in Kilgore as well as other various tournaments throughout the area.
James was a member of Greggton First Baptist Church. He walked the aisle as a teenager giving his life to Jesus. His love of family was a wonderful testimony to his love of Christ.
James was preceded in death by his parents and younger sister, Lajuana Easley. Survivors include his wife, Barbara and his sister, Shara Hanson and husband Jim. He leaves a legacy of love for his children, Steve Gillentine and wife, Judy, Chuck Gillentine and Julie Weldon and her husband Eddie. Also, his ten grandchildren and twelve great grandchildren.
We believe Pop would want to be remembered as a family man who gave it all to the ones he loved the most. Ashes to ashes and dust to dust but also words to words. In the end we all become a story to share. We leave you his: a life well lived and a dad well loved.
The family wishes to thank Heart to Heart Hospice for their superb care and a very special thank you to his nurse, Michelle who was truly a Godsend.
A celebration of life will be held at 2 PM Monday, November 2, 2020 in the Chapel of Rader Funeral Home of Longview. The family will receive friends from 1-2 PM prior to the service. The services will be webcast on raderfh.com for those unable to attend.
A memorial guestbook may be signed online at www.raderfh.com.