James Edsel Ingram, Jr., 87, passed away in his home, surrounded by his loving family on July 13, 2018.
A devout family man, he was born December 28, 1930 in Carroll County, Georgia as the oldest of 13 brothers and sisters. The son of a pastor and homemaker, Mr. Ingram developed his work ethic farming and tending to his younger siblings. After an honorable discharge from the Navy, where he served as Electronics Technician Second Class, he was employed with Cotton Producers in Atlanta. He met and later married the love of his life, Sara Gordon, on December 24, 1954. He transferred to LaFayette in 1957 as manager of Farmers Mutual Exchange. In 1960, he was invited to join Hammond-Jones Hardware where he enjoyed a 44-year career developing special friendships and earning the respect of community and business leaders. During this time, Mr. Ingram was a charter member of the LaFayette Optimist Club. He served as commissioner of the LaFayette Housing Authority for seven years. In 1996, he was honored as Small Business Person of the year through Walker County Chamber of Commerce. He was also a charter member of Walker County Partners for Educational Progress (WACOPEP) where he served in the development of the education of our youth in the Walker County School system. As a devoted supporter of childrens’ education in his community, Mr. Ingram actively served on various PTO boards, local band boosters, sponsored vocational scholarships, provided employment opportunities for high school students through work-based learning, and promoted extracurricular activities for children of all ages. Through his service in WACOPEP, he was one of the first recipients of the prestigious Arnold Eaves Partner of the Year Award. Mr. Ingram retired from Hammond-Jones Hardware in 2004. In his years after leaving the hardware store, he spent time with his beautiful wife, played golf with friends, and cherished the time he spent with his family. His nine grandchildren brought much joy to his life as did he to theirs. He was a faithful servant of LaFayette First United Methodist Church for over 60 years.
He was preceded in death by his parents, James E. Ingram Sr., and Evelyn Shirah Ingram; brothers, Neil Ingram, Curtis Ingram, Max Ingram, and Keith Ingram; and sister, Marsha Ingram.
He is survived by his devoted and loving wife of 63 years, Sara Ingram; daughter, Susan Ingram Key (Allen); sons, James Stephen Ingram (Kathy), Douglas Franklin Ingram (Angie) and William Keith Ingram (Wendy); grandchildren, Jonathan Ingram (Kelly), Jessica Ingram, Matthew Ingram, Kurt Ingram, Cole Ingram, Will Ingram, Wes Ingram, Andy Key, and Tyler Key (Whitney); sisters, Linda Linderman (David), Joy Prangley and Patricia O’Shields (Roy); brothers, Bobby Ingram (Nancy), Kenneth Ingram, Cam Ingram, and Tony Ingram (Maureen); and several nieces and nephews.
A funeral service will be held at 2 p.m. on Sunday, July 15, at the LaFayette First United Methodist Church with Reverend Randall Massengill and Reverend David Autry officiating.
Pallbearers will be his grandchildren.
Honorary pallbearers are Ron Harrison, Albert Ellis, Dan Priest, Hugh Overfield, Guy Pope, Bob Forester, Bob Lamborn, Jack Hart, Bill Whitten, Friday Lunch Group, and Pairs and Spares Sunday School Class.
Interment will follow in the LaFayette City Cemetery.
Visitation will be held Saturday from 5 – 8 p.m. at the church.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the LaFayette First United Methodist Church Youth Fund.
Arrangements are by Wallis-Wilbanks Funeral Home, LaFayette.