James Edward Stovall (Jim) was born to Willie Stovall (deceased) and Mary Williams (deceased) on February 21, 1939 in Monticello, MS.
He accepted Jesus Christ as his Savior at an early age at Oak Grove Missionary Baptist Church in Monticello, MS. Upon moving to Harvey, IL, he became a member of Daniel's Chapel A.M.E. Zion Church in Phoenix, IL. He later joined All Nations Community Church where he served faithfully.
James attended McCullough High School in Monticello, MS where he participated in football and drove a school bus while attending school there.
In 1959, relocating from MS to IL, James began employment at Bliss and Laughlin Steele from 1959 to 1961; Jean's Bakery from 1961 to 1967; IL Central Railroad from 1965 to 1968; Ingalls Memorial Hospital from 1965 to 1974; Andrew Corp from 1968 to 1999. While at Andrew Corp, he was promoted to Machine Operator from 1974 to 1999. In 1974, he began traveling for Andrew Corp to Scotland; Suzhou, China (two times) and Brazil to train employees on how to set up their machines. He had the best work ethic, never missing or being late a day. After thirty-one years, James retired from Andrew Corp and began working at Harvey School District 152 until his health failed.
James started coaching in Harvey IL as a Babe Ruth League assistant baseball coach. In the fall of 1974, he was asked to coach with the Harvey Colts youth football organization. That year, he along with Rich Brown and Ben Averyheart began their youth football coaching calling. Gary Williams would join this staff three years later and together for the next thirty years would be the only Pop Warner coaching staff to accumulate 312 wins and only 63 losses in a total span of thirty-three years.
From this union of coaches, Jim would be the proud coach of Melvan Hunter, Richard Johnson, Keith Rucker, Kevin Perkins, Jermain Hampton, Antwaan Randle El, Eric Thigpen, Leslie Majors, Jason Griffin, Kapri Bibbs, Benny Garnet, Donald Luster, Gerald Grayer, Tony Pit, Edward Adams, Reggie Ford, Pete Rucker, Randy Jackson. The young men mentioned all played in the NFL. Jim has the satisfaction of having coached over twenty lawyers, at least three doctors, several dozen first responders and numerous clergymen. He was most happy to discover that many of his former players followed in his footsteps and are now coaching either as youth coaches, or at the professional level.
Jim and his staff retired from coaching in 2007 after making their second trip to the Pop Warner Super Bowl. The National Pop Warner Association rewarded Jim and his staff with a special presentation for their services and their overall winning record which had never been accomplished. Jim wasn't done with Pop Warner, as he was called and asked to be the treasurer for the National Pop Warner Association. Lastly, we remember well the young lady Jim coached, Jasmine Plummer, who became the first female quarterback to play in a national Pop Warner Championship in 2003.
From 1974 until 2007, Jim Stovall would coach and mentor over 2,000 boys and girls. He would tell people that he was overjoyed when one of his former players would make it to the NFL, but more thrilled just to hear that anyone of his players made it in life.
James leaves to cherish his memory: daughter, Frieda Watts (Freddie) of Houston, TX; Vincent Stovall of Juneau, AK. Six grandchildren: Kevin Archer II (Adrian) of Brooklyn Park, MN; Christopher Stovall (Tarrissa) of Anchorage, AK; Jennifer Stovall (deceased); Jasmine Bland of Park Forest, IL; Brianna Stovall of Anchorage, AK; Chance Stovall of Juneau, AK. Three great-grandchildren: Peyton Stovall of Anchorage, AK, Kamryn Stovall of Anchorage, AK; Kendal Stovall of Anchorage, AK. One sister: Catherine Cantrell of Harvey, IL. One uncle: Willie C. McGowan (Margaret) of Flossmoor, IL. One aunt: Georgia Stovall of MS. A special friend Sue and a host of nephews, nieces and cousins.
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