Waxhaw, North Carolina, formerly of Tupelo - Stanley James “Jim” Pickard, 82, was reunited with his beloved bride in Heaven on Thursday, December 31, 2020. A native of scenic upstate New York, he was born May 24, 1938 to Stanley James Pickard and Adaline Anne Keville Kentner. Raised during a time where hard work kept a family fed and excuses weren’t heard, Jim grew to be a strong, savvy man with great convictions and values.
Just like many young men of his era, Jim answered his country’s call to arms as a young man and served two years in the Air Force both stateside and overseas, including England and French Morocco.Upon his retirement from the armed forces, he reconnected with his childhood sweetheart, MaryLou Arnold. They would later marry and raise five children, each manifesting a different conglomeration of Jim’s traits and/or affinities.
Jim was an exceptionally talented musician. He played the bass guitar and sang with several Bluegrass bands whose members became much like family and always held a special place in his heart. He ran sound for events and even performed with his wife in their country and western band in their earlier years. He would spend as much time as possible “pickin’ and grinnin’” and for a while, he even published a local bluegrass magazine.
He loved a day at the lake. When his children were young, they would go out water skiing and as he got older, he took more to fishing. It’s likely that in his 82 years, he never turned down an opportunity to go on a fishing trip. He enjoyed bowling and was actually quite good. He was on several league teams which kept him on the go. Between the military, his “pickin’ and grinning’,” his many bowling tournaments and the quest for the perfect fishing spot, he became very well traveled.
He was also a lover of all things edible. Road trips were never mapped out according to the easiest route. They were planned around the best eatin’ places and carefully timed to make sure he would pass through at the appropriate meal time for the venue. Since he had seemingly visited just about every corner of the country, no one in the family took a vacation without first consulting with him about the best dives and local eats around their destination.
Jim was the epitome of a grandfather. All of his grandchildren and great-grandchildren, who lovingly referred to him as “Da,” adored him. He was the patriarch of the family and was called upon in times of confusion or distress. He was stern when he had to be and didn’t hold back from offering his opinions about things. His words, though very honest and pointed, were never sharp and there was magic in his hugs. A moment in his arms would take away any hurt you had and you couldn’t help but get lost in his stories and his laughter. He loved a good healthy argument about trivia and was excited when he was right. He liked to play games and cards and on occasion (more times than he would ever admit), he would cheat. Everyone knew it, but he thought he was sneaky and that has made for some for best supper time stories.
There is no grouping of words that could describe what a wonderful man he was and how much he meant to his family and friends. He truly was one of a kind and we are blessed to have been able to share life with him in all capacities, be it friend or relative. He has left some mighty big shoes to fill and an even bigger hole in the hearts of those who loved him.
Survivors include his five children, Sue Jarrell (Aaron) of Dexter, Missouri, Richard Pickard (Ronda) of Monroe, North Carolina, Laurie Ingram (Kevin) of Guntown, Colleen Holley (Tom) of Belden and Shawn James “Jamie” Pickard (Roxy Villone) of Stafford, Virginia; 8 grandchildren; several great-grandchildren; and sister, Nancy Bishopp (Jim).
He was preceded in death by his parents; the love of his life, MaryLou Pickard; and granddaughter, Stephanie Gwen Harris.
The family will receive friends from 2 p.m. until 5 PM on Saturday, January 16, 2021 at the Tupelo Chapel of Holland Funeral Directors.
Condolences may be e-mailed to email@example.com. Memorials may be made to the charity of your choice.