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James Clay Gaither, Sr., age 87, resident of Rossville, Tennessee and husband of Loretta Baker Gaither, departed this life Friday afternoon, December 14, 2018 at the Baptist Memorial Hospital in Memphis.
A Graveside Service for Mr. Gaither was held at 1:30 P.M. Monday, December 17, 2018 at Memorial Park Cemetery in Memphis with Dr. Roger Joseph officiating. Arrangements were provided by Peebles Fayette County Funeral Homes & Cremation Center – West Chapel at Oakland.
James was born July 10, 1931 in Williston, Tennessee, the son of the late James Addison Gaither and Jewel Bernice Carpenter Gaither. He was a graduate of Collierville High School Class of 1949. Known as “Ace” to his friends, he loved baseball and was a pitcher on the championship team in 1949. He was married in 1952 to the former Loretta Baker and was a member of Rossville United Methodist Church, where he served the Lord faithfully, and was chairman of the board and church trustee for many years.
He was employed at Wonder Bread for 15 years and at Frito-Lay, Inc. for 23 years before his retirement in 1993. James served as an alderman for the town of Rossville from 1972 until 1992 and was elected the Town Mayor in 1993 and served as Mayor for 28½ years. He was an outdoorsman who loved fishing, deer and bird hunting and will be remembered by his friends for the tomatoes that he grew in his garden.
Mr. Gaither is survived by his wife of 66 happy years together, Loretta Baker Gaither of Rossville, TN; three children, James “Jim” Clay Gaither, Jr., Deborah Ann G. Moore, Janice Ellen G. Reed (Jim); three grandsons, Jason Moore (Beth), Brad Moore (Ashlie), Michael Gaither; and five great-grandchildren, Elise Moore, Lexie Moore, Collin Moore, Taylor Moore and Brennan Gaither.
In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his sister, Marion Cathryn G. Walker; his daughter-in-law, Pam Gaither; and his son-in-law, Albert U. Moore.
Those honored to serve as pallbearers were Jason Moore, Brad Moore, Michael Gaither, David Baker, Scott Davenport and Todd Baker.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorials be directed to the Rossville United Methodist Church Annex Fund, 110 W. Main Street, Rossville, TN 38066 or St. Jude Memorial Giving, 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis, TN 38105-9959.