James Curtis Shivers

James Curtis Shivers left this life, but began a new and everlasting life, on Nov. 8, 2017. He had just celebrated his 96th birthday last Saturday.  Funeral services will be at 2 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 11 at the First United Methodist Church in Mexia with the Reverend Jenn Pick officiating.  Interment will follow in the Wortham Cemetery. Bobby McDonald, Rick Sadler, Alden Garber, Jerry Allen, Dicky Thornton and Randy Bates will serve as pallbearers. Visitation with the family will be from 5-7 p.m., Friday at Blair-Stubbs Funeral Home.
James was born Nov. 3, 1921 in Corsicana to Rev. L. W. and Annie Mae Shivers; he was the sixth of seven children (four boys and three girls).  Being a minister’s son, he moved several times during his childhood, although he graduated from Cooper High School, he spent most of his high school days at Mexia High School. He enlisted in the Navy in 1942 and spent the majority of his career in the South Pacific, serving as a radio and communication instructor through 1946. After being discharged from the Navy, he attended Westminster College in Tehuacana and SMU.
Shortly before being discharged from the service, James was stricken with a rare eye disease leaving him without any central vision and no longer able to hold a job doing clerical work, as he had known. He heard of, and bought, a 100-acre farm near Mexia. He and his wife, Merl, moved into a three-room frame house with no running water or bathroom. She was pregnant, and her one request was to have a bathroom. James knew absolutely nothing about raising crops or cattle, but with the help of some dear friends, over the next 60 years transformed this rundown, overgrown place into a happy home and improved cattle operation. It was truly a labor of love and a blessing; he often said his farm saved his life, after becoming almost blind.
James was married to the love of his life, Merl Marsh Shivers, for over 60 years and, after her retirement, they spent many happy years traveling, square dancing and simply spending time together. They were blessed with a son, Terry Don, and daughter-in-law, Janise, who will continue his legacy of taking care of his ranch, along with their own. He, also, has a loving grandson, Christopher Lee and fiancée, JoAnna Wolfe and great-grandson, Kaison.
James was best known, in his later years, for his gift of talking. He loved people and had many friends, with whom he loved to share his stories.  He always said, “I can tell within five minutes of sitting next to a person on the bench in front of Walmart, if he or she is interested in talking.
James was an active member of the First United Methodist Church in Mexia for over 65 years.
He was preceded in death by his parents; his wife, brothers, Estes, Leslie, and L. W. Shivers, Jr.; and sisters, Paulene Shivers and Isabell Thornton. 
He is survived by one sister, Billy Jean Bates of Dallas, his immediate family as listed above, and numerous nieces and nephews.
A special thanks and note of appreciation goes to James’ longtime caregiver, Peg Brown, who cared for him, for many years, while living at home and to Skilled Care of Mexia, who made his life enjoyable during the last few months. Your help and devotion to him is most appreciated.
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