James Wallace McGehee was born on March 9, 1943, in Murray, Kentucky to the late parents Desiree McGehee and Everett Bradford. He went to be with the Lord on Monday, March 29, 2021, at the Annie Mae Owen Hospice House in Murray, Kentucky. James was affectionately known as "Jimmy" by family and most who loved him. James grew up in a spiritual household and accepted Christ at an early age. He was baptized and a member of St. John Missionary Baptist Church in Murray, Kentucky. James attended and graduated from Douglas High School in Murray, Kentucky in 1961. While in high school, Jimmy was an all-star football player. He was so fast on the field that no one could tackle him. Family and fans ultimately gave him the nickname "Rabbit" on the football field.
In 1961, James Wallace and Pearley Mae Foster married, and from their union welcomed a beautiful daughter Patrice Michelle. After high school, James attended Murray State University. He was drafted by the United States Army and was on active duty and served during the Vietnam War. After serving in the war for a few years, Jimmy returned to Murray, Kentucky.
James migrated north to Detroit, Michigan to pursue better job opportunities. He became employed by Chrysler Corporation – Sterling Stamping as a Production Operator and was with the company for 39 years until he retired in 2006. While in Detroit, he met Janise Beauford and they were joined in marriage in 1978. From that union, they welcomed a handsome son, Deon James, and a beautiful daughter Raquel Mishon. After he retired, he returned to Murray, Kentucky to assist with taking care of his late aunt Betty Jean McGehee.
James worked as an auto mechanic his entire life because of his love of cars. James mastered just about everything he did. He was an excellent hunter, and very few people could outshoot him. There was no sport that James played that he could not master. He loved all sports, especially football and basketball. James had incredible strength like no other man that you could ever meet. He put those skills and love of sports to use when he became an assistant coach for St. Martin DePorres Catholic High School Boys Basketball team in Detroit and served in that capacity from the late 1970's to 1983.
James adored his children, and there was nothing that he would not do for them. He loved life. His generosity, friendliness and kindness to people was a tribute to the beauty of his heart. His presence and infectious smile will be deeply missed by all who knew and loved him.
He is survived by his children Patrice Michelle Ellis (Troy) of Brentwood, TN, Deon James McGehee of Baltimore, MD and Raquel Mishon McGehee (Shonie) of Detroit, MI. Grandchildren Trey Ellis, Aleem Cullins-McGehee, and Titan McGehee. He is also survived by his aunt Betty Jean Thomas, siblings LaQuita Bradford, Artelia Trice (Allen), Everett Bradford Jr. (Latonya) and Omega Robinson (Jackie). He leaves a host of other family members and great friends to cherish his memories.
Funeral service will be held at 12:00 p.m., Wednesday, April 7, 2021 at the J.H. Churchill Funeral Home & Cremation Services. Pastor Ronald Kendrick will officiate, and burial will follow in the Murray City Cemetery. Visitation for family and friends will be held from 11 a.m. till 12 p.m. Wednesday, April 7, 2021 at the J.H. Churchill Funeral Home & Cremation Services.
Online condolences can be made at www.thejhchurchillfuneralhome.com