Funeral services for James Chilton “J.C.” Pickens, Jr., were at 10 a.m. on Friday, June 10, 2011 at the Harvey Funeral Chapel in Mount Vernon.
He was buried in the Rockhill Cemetery in the Rockhill Community of Franklin County.
Mr. Pickens was born Sept. 25, 1925 to James Chilton, Sr. and Cleo Christine Bass Pickens in the Rockhill Community of Franklin County. He attended elementary school at Rockhill and at Hopewell Schools and graduated from Mount Vernon High School in 1943. He attended Texas A & M in College Station until he was drafted into the military at the age of 18. He served his country in World War II in the U. S. Navy aboard the USS Zane, the USS Bennion, the USS Howorth and the USS Manning during the Asiatic-Pacific and the Philippine Liberation Campaigns. He was honorably discharged from the Navy as First Class Seaman on May 20, 1946. He married Peggy Jean Watts on October 18, 1946 in Greenville.
They attended East Texas State Teachers College in Commerce and then moved to Huntsville to attend Sam Houston State Teachers College where he graduated with a bachelor of science degree in agriculture in 1949. He worked as a teacher, a dairy farmer, and raised beef cattle on the same land worked and farmed by his father and his grandfather. He taught in the GI School in Comanche, Tex., at Mount Vernon Schools and the Harts Bluff School where he retired in 1989.
He was a member of the Macon Baptist Church, a member of Masonic Lodge 691 in Mount Vernon for over 50 years, and he served as Committee Member on the Franklin County Agriculture Stabilization and Conservation Committee.
He died Tuesday, June 7 at East Texas Medical Center in Tyler after a lengthy battle with cancer. He was preceded in death by his parents.
He is survived by his wife of 64 years and eight months, Peggy Jean Watts Pickens, his children, Joe and Joyce Pickens, Randy and Deanna Pickens, and Susan and James Buck, all of Mount Vernon, eight grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.
Pallbearers were his grandchildren, Chad Pickens, Scott Pickens, Mark Pickens, Travis Pickens, Colter Buck, and Zachary Buck. Members of the Class of 1943 s