James Lewis Church of Granite Falls passed away Sunday, April 25, 2021, at Caldwell UNC Health Care, Lenoir.
Born July 29, 1942, in Catawba County, he was the son of the late Jacob Lewis Church and Rosa Moose Church. In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by two brothers, Robert Church and Jacob Lewis Church Jr.; and one sister, Flostina Marie Shepard.
There were many things in life James Church loved and enjoyed. Every year he grew a garden so he could give away everything to family and friends and to take everyone that came over out there to show them how good he was at growing one. He loved flowers and nature, especially the mountains. Visiting Gatlinburg and Cades Cove were some of his favorites. He also enjoyed raising farm animals, everything from goats, pigs, cows, chickens, and even ostriches.
When James was young, he and his wife, Rachel, enjoyed riding the wagon trains throughout Wilkesboro and Boone. He also very much enjoyed fishing. Some would say he was one of the best striper fishermen around, besides fishing, James’ greatest treasures in life were his family and spending time with his wif, Rachel, children, and grandchildren. James and his wife, Rachel, would have been married 60 years in September 2021; they met at the skating rink when James had to help Rachel up off the floor. Within three months they were married and lived a life that many people dream of.
Every night before bed James would never fail to tell his wife, Rachel, how much he loved her, he would always say, “I love you 500 lbs or 5,000 lbs” and Rachel’s response would always be one number less than his like, “I love you 499 lbs.” He would always say back, “That was too much.” James will always be remembered by his family and friends for the avid storyteller, jokester, and prankster.
James (Paw), you will always be loved and remembered……. Rachel, children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren.
He is survived by his wife, Rachel Barlow Church of the home; two sons, John Leroy Church and wife Ellen of Lenoir, and Jake Lewis Church and wife Lea of Granite Falls; two daughters, Darla Mayo Clarke and Rob Bolick of Patterson, and Heidi Rose Elswick of Granite Falls; two brothers, John Leroy Church of Lenoir, and Ernest Randolph Church and wife Amelia of Hudson; three sisters, Annie Lee Huffman of Hickory, Margaret Church of Hickory, and Tina Marie Church of Montana; 12 grandchildren; and five great-grandchildren.
A graveside service will be held on Thursday, April 29, 2021, 4 p.m. at Pinecrest Cemetery, Granite Falls, with the Rev. Allen Younce officiating. The family will receive at Bass-Smith Granite from 2 p.m. until 3:30 p.m. prior.
Serving as pallbearers will be James Church, Nathan Church, Austin Clarke, Payton Church, Robert Bolick, Abigail Clarke, and Kalep Church.
Bass-Smith Granite is serving the family of James Lewis Church.
Online condolences may be made a www.bass-smithfuneralhome.com.