Jimmy E. Oates, 73, of Center

Jimmy E. Oates was called home on June 17, 2018. He was born to Jessie E. and Vashti Ross Oates on June 8, 1945 in the Dreka Community of Shelby County. He leaves behind his beloved wife of 50 years, Judy Ann Oates and their three daughters and sons-in-law, 9 grandchildren, and 8 great-grandchildren: Denise & Jimmy Chamberlain of Center, TX; Tracy & Bill Scudder of Covington, LA; Jennifer & Mitch Berry of Lindale, TX; Amberlyn & Evan Fronheiser of Jasper, TX and their daughters Kayleigh and Lexie; Sam Scudder of Covington, LA; Flint & Beth Berry of Benton, LA and their sons Hunter, Jackson, and Stetson; Jessica & Jacob Phelps of Virginia Beach, VA and their daughters Danika, Emma, and Maxine; Joanna Berry of Lindale, TX and Destiny Chamberlain of Center, TX.  He is also survived by his sister and brother-in-law, Joyce & Guy Flournoy, as well as brother and sister-in-law, Larry & Kathy Oates, along with numerous nieces and nephews and great nieces and nephews and a host of friends.  He is preceded in death by his parents, Jessie & Vashti Oates; paternal grandparents, Sam and Bessie Oates; and maternal grandparents, Booker and Molly Lout Ross.

He was a member of Landmark Lodge #214 F & AM in Keithville, LA and the Hunter Magnolia Baptist Church in Hunter, LA. Services will be officiated by Bro. Derek Lightfoot at Mangum Funeral Home at 11:00 AM on Wednesday, June 20, 2018. Visitation will be held from 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM on Tuesday, June 19, 2018 at Mangum Funeral Home.

Pallbearers will be Sam Scudder, Flint Berry, Evan Fronheiser, Josh Rawls, Cody Rawls, Brady Bailey, Jackson Harlan, Hunter Harlan, and Trey Berry. 

He was a family man, first and foremost. Judy was the center of his world and their marriage was the foundation we built our lives upon. All of his children and grandchildren knew that all they had to do was pick up the phone and he would show up, any time or anywhere. He tucked quarters into penny loafers just for that purpose. He made sure we all grew up camping and fishing. We caught an awful lot of fish on Toledo Bend for a boat full of loud children. Our childhoods were full of the memories built around those trips. He took two generations of kids up to Camp Albert Pike and, later, Lake Ouachita in Arkansas and wanted to make sure that the third generation would get a chance to go. He also managed to somehow make every kid feel like they were his favorite. We were all so confident in the fact that we were “it” that no one even thought to ask to make sure.

They say that how often and in what way you are remembered determines the type of person you were in life. There isn’t a porch swing sat on, a hook that hits the water, or the crunch of tires on a back road that happens without him being remembered. He was the cornerstone of our family and, as such, is so much a part of who we are that we remember him in everything we do. The most we can hope for is that someday we will leave behind the kind of legacy he has.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorial donations be made to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, 5433 Westheimer Rd #300, Houston, TX 77056 or by visiting https://donate.lls.org/lls/donate.

The family is being served by Mangum Funeral Home in Center, Texas. To send condolences or to sign an online register, please visit www.mangumfh.net.