James W. Potter, Sr. 75, passed away from Parkinson's disease and dementia on January 31, 2012 at Folt's Home in Herkimer, where he had been a resident for the past four years.
Jim was born March 3, 1936 to Freda and Arthur Potter in Oxford, NY. He enjoyed a life filled with adventures and accomplishments. As a young man attending Oxford Academy, Jim was a star athlete, excelling in basketball, baseball, football and track. After high school, Jim continued playing baseball on various Oxford area town teams. Even landing a brief tryout with a major league team. One of the highlights of his sports career came in middle age, when he played for the Greene Bees town team along with his two sons. He even hit a home run on Father's Day that season. Jim also took up and excelled at golf, a game he loved for the remainder of his life. In addition to his love of sports, he was a wonderful and accomplished dancer.
Jim Potter was a self-made man. Having never attended college, Jim used his intelligence, ingenuity and determination to provide for his family. Jim was a salesman at heart. Over the years his sales work took him and his family all across the country and they called several states "home". His crowning achievement in business was managing the sales of a company called Guideline Publications. Jim worked for many years with owner Bill Alexander of Stamford, NY, to develop Guidelines into a nationwide success.
Jim was also a devout Christian who claimed Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior. His unwavering faith gave him the strength to handle the difficulties he faced in life and led him, with his wife Shirley, to undertake the operation of a Christian bookstore in Greene, as well as a pastorship at an Assembly of God Church in East McDonough. The two also performed missionary work in Mexico and were wonderful witnesses for Christ wherever they traveled. Jim was many good things to many people throughout his life, but most of all he was a dedicated and devoted father and grandfather. He was helpful, giving, and tolerant and always put the needs of his kids and grandkids ahead of his own.
Jim is survived by his former wife, Shirley Ingraham of Chester, VA; their children, Gayl Tyler and her husband Nick of Chesterfield, VA; Jamie Potter and his wife Janet of Otego; Lynn Lawrence and her husband Bill of Fairfax, VT; and Davey-Joe (D.J.) of Oneonta, NY; sister Janet Williams of Waddington, NY; sister Evelyn Lindsay of Bakersfield, CA; and brother David Potter of Christiansburg, VA. He is also survived by 16 grandchildren: Jamal, Naeemah, Adam, Malikah, Leanna, Rebeka, Adelle, Jeremy, Elijah, Brandon, Alisha, Luke, Jack, Sadie, Seth, and Jordan; as well as 17 great-grandchildren. Jim was predeceased by his mother Freda, father Art, brother Orrest Karlson, sister Sheila Holmes, and his beloved granddaughter Kiameshia Washington.
Funeral services for Jim will be held at the Behe Funeral Home, 21 Main St., Oxford, NY on Saturday, February 4, 2012 with calling hours at 1 PM followed by the funeral service at 2 PM.
In appreciation for the loving care he received at Folt's Home the last 4 years of his life, contributions may be made in Jim's name to the Folt's Foundation, 104 N. Washington St., Herkimer, NY 13350, earmarked for The Health Center Special Care Unit.