James Clyde “JC” Oates, 88, of Pflugerville, passed away July 28, 2018. Visitation will be from noon to 1:30 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 4 at Heritage Funeral Home in Brady. Graveside services will follow at 2 p.m. at Melvin Cemetery.
He was born Oct. 22, 1929 in Melvin to Willie Lee and Mamie Crawford Oates. First and foremost, JC was a faithful follower of the Lord, He was a very kind and generous man that touched the lives of people all around him.
JC, a loving husband, married the love of his life, Bennie Dean, on Dec. 16, 1950. Together they had two sons followed by five grandchildren and five great-grandchildren. His family meant the world to him. He enjoyed watching them in their various activities as they grew up. He was very proud of each and every one of them. The grin that came across his face, as he watched them, was priceless.
JC enjoyed hunting and fishing throughout his life. He has very fond memories going on squirrel hunts with his first dog Tinkerbell. In his later years, he gave up the hunting, instead the time was spent watching and feeding wild deer and turkey. He especially loved hand-feeding and petting Dennis and David, pet white-tail deer that came by daily looking for a treat. JC loved animals and animals seemed to flock to him. Many a time, stories were told of JC burning the thorns off of cactus in the ice and snow so the cows could have something to eat because the hay or cubes were limited. Fishing was a favorite pastime as well, but also a necessity. Growing up, the locals paid JC to catch catfish for them which allowed him to pay for his bullets, fishing line and hooks. Later in life, JC enjoyed experimenting with dough baits and catching catfish and very large carp off of his dock. JC loved the outdoors, this is where he could frequently be found searching for items with his metal detector, or looking for old bottles and arrowheads.
His first job in Melvin was a paper route for “The Grit.” All the old timers knew “Cotton” was coming up the road because all the dogs in town were following him with tails a wagging and barking.
JC served two tours in the Korean War as a military policeman. He loved talking about his military days. Once out of the military he worked for a short time in an oil field in Big Spring. After that he worked for Southwestern Bell Telephone Company for 31 years as an install repairman. He moved all over Texas due to his job. He retired from Southwestern Bell in El Campo Feb. 18, 1983. Needless to say, JC was a hard working and loyal employee. During his career at Southwestern Bell, he was recognized for promoting the ‘Master Craft Club,’ this was for his achievements and excellent work which was done correctly, the first time.
To us he was PawPaw. PawPaw is survived by son Todd and wife Suzanne Oates, daughter-n-law Sandra Oates, grandchildren, Crystal and husband Jim Smith, Amy and husband Wendel Witcher, Michael and wife Chappell Oates, Brittney Oates and fiance’, Joey Kacal and Cameron James “CJ” Oates and friend Stormy Eubank; great-grandchildren, Landen and Cayden Witcher, Annalee and Allyson Smith and Ava Oates. Of course we cannot forget, his beloved dog Bruno.
JC was preceded in death by his wife of 65 years, Bennie Dean Smith Oates; his son, Tracy Oates,;
his parents, his brothers, Cecil Ray Oates, Leo Mason Oates and sister, Lee Willie Oates.
A very special thank you to all of the Seton Austin Hospice staff (especially Chaplin Michael Carter and his lovely wife Kim, Jena Hall and Angela Nelson) for the wonderful care and support given to PawPaw.
Pallbearers are Gerald Malmstrom, CJ Oates, Michael Oates, Royce Seawright, Jim Smith and Wendel Witcher. Honorary pall bearers are Guy Lindholm and Garrett Lindholm.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to: Christian Community Church, 201-203 East Pearl Street, Brady, Texas or the Seton Austin Hospice.