It is with profound sadness that we announce the passing of a loving husband, father, and grandfather. James Walter Rone, of Burlison, Tenn., who passed away peacefully on December 24, 2023, and went to be with his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. It was wonderful for such a good Christian man that he was to meet the Lord on the night we celebrate the birth of Christ. While we celebrated Christ’s birth on Earth, James celebrated with him in heaven. He will be greatly missed and will always hold a place in our hearts.
He was a wonderful husband, a generous father, a devoted grandfather and dedicated to his church and community. James was born in Clarksdale, Mississippi on September 11, 1939, to George and Emma Sue Rone. His family moved to Covington, Tennessee in 1951. He attended Byars Hall High School where he met the love of his life, Theta. From there, he attended The Citadel in Charleston, South Carolina graduating with a degree in Civil Engineering. James then received his master’s degree in Structural Engineering from the University of Illinois and then served in the Air Force from 1963-1965. He worked as a Structural Engineer for 40 years and retired in 2001.
A long-time member of Garland Baptist Church, James served as a Deacon and Sunday school teacher. He volunteered countless hours at the VA Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee for many years serving the wounded veterans he admired and respected. James served as Commander and Chief Financial Officer of the Tipton County American Legion Post 67. An avid WW II collector, he was active in the Military Vehicle Preservation Association where he served as the Chairman and Treasurer. He also served on the board of the Mid-South Military Museum. James was pilot and enjoyed flying small aircraft for many years. He also loved building and flying model airplanes. In retirement his workshop was his passion. Nestled in the barn he built with his father, he enjoyed working with his hands, building and designing all sorts of woodworking projects.
James enjoyed traveling with his beloved wife Theta and made lasting friendships. James and Theta were happily married for 62 years and were blessed with 2 children and 5 grandchildren.
James was preceded in death by his parents, George and Emma Sue Rone, and his brother, John Rone. He is survived by his wife, Theta Kelley Rone, and his 2 children, Stephen Kelley Rone (Tracy) and Deanna Rone Nabors (Forest), his 5 grandchildren, Griffin James Rone, Ian Christopher Rone, Forest Jackson Nabors III (Annie), Kelley Grace Chiselko (Connor) and Jessie Aileen Nabors.
Memorial donations may be made to the following: Confidential Care Mobile Ministry at www.confidentialcaremm.org or Shiloh Cemetery c/o Garland Baptist Church, 1776 Garland Drive, Covington, TN 38019, or a charity of your choice.