First Posted: 7/23/2012
James Haywood Eubanks, Known As Man, a kind and gentle soul has gone on to his maker.
James Eubanks was born into poverty and grew up with out an education, but he was born happy, optimistic and most of all, curious. He rose above all life’s challenges to become a self-taught engineer, a good neighbor and a devoted husband to his wife, Joyce Jamieson Eubanks.
James never learned to read or write. He was born into a large family of tenant farmers in Jefferson, South Carolina. He would tell that he began work in the fields as soon as he could walk.
“you didn’t need an education to follow a mule.” he would say. James and his eleven brothers and sisters would work in the crop fields from first light until dusk. When the sun was high in the sky, his mother would bring the children a large pot of beans and she would fill an eight pound lard bucket with biscuits. Then they would draw water from the river to drink. The work ethic of his family as tenant farmers was known throughout the county. He was known to say that his family moved so much that if the hens heard a wagon coming down the road…they would sit down and cross their legs and wait for their legs to be tied for the trip to a new home. At each new tenant house their mother would make a corn-shucks broom and the children would scrub the floor with creek sand until it shown.
James worked fifteen years in cotton mill; he moved to Charlotte and became a butcher for A & P Grocery in the early 1960s. Eventually, James moved to Shuffletown, a community ten miles outside of Charlotte, NC. It wasn’t long before friends would seek James out for advice on farming, fixing equipment and building a barn. Although he did not read or write he was a brilliant student, mentor, and teacher. There was nothing James could not build whether it was made out of metal or wood. In his time, he built wood splitters, plows and hinges. But it was his barn design that captured the attention of many neighbors. There were more than 12 barns built like his barn in the neighborhood. Many are still standing today.
Mike Lucas, a dear friend of James, said, “James could have ruled the world if he had a high school education.”
Often, we forget the proud journey of a life, especially if it is not written down. In James Eubanks life we find the strength of lessons earned and challenges overcome. Author Joseph Campbell said that every life is a hero’s tale. Certainly, James Eubanks’ life would qualify as a hero’s tale.
James Eubanks was surrounded by his loving family. He is survived by his wife, Joyce Jamieson, step daughters, Beth Sharpe and husband, Phil of Charlotte and Becky Bell and husband, Robin of Union Grove, a step son, Mac Jamieson and his wife, Judy of Harpersville, Alabama, sisters, Wilma Bailey, Raymel McQuage and Peggy Andrews, all of Rockingham and 6 step grandchildren and 3 step great grandchildren.
Services celebrating Mr. Eubanks’ life will be conducted at 10:00 AM Tuesday at Union Grove Christian Church and the family will speak with friends there immediately following the service. Committal services will then be held at 2:00 P.M. Tuesday at Forest Lawn West Cemetery in Charlotte and the family will speak with friends there following the service. Rev. Allen Lunsford will conduct both services. Condolences may be sent on line to the family to www.bunchjohnsonfuneralhome.com. Memorials may be given to Union Grove Christian Church P.O. Box 148 Union Grove, N.C. 28689. Bunch-Johnson Funeral Home of Statesville is entrusted with the arrangements.
When James Eubanks meets St. Peter, he will say as he said often in life. “I have been blessed with a good life.”