James A. Fuqua, Jr. (Jim) age 67, left his earthly body peacefully at home on September 3, 2020, in Fayette, Alabama after his battle with a nefarious criminal named Hepatic Angiosarcoma.
There will be no funeral service since Jim’s wishes were to donate his body to the College of Medicine at the University of South Alabama to help future research for rare cancers similarly to his. However, there will be a Celebration of Life honoring the extraordinary man that everyone knew and loved. The Celebration of Jim’s life will be at 2:00 pm on Saturday, September 12, 2020, located at Nelson’s Funeral Home with visitation to follow ceremony. Arrangements are by Nelson’s Funeral Home.
Jim was born in Birmingham, Alabama to James (deceased) and Rebecca Fuqua on September 3, 1953. He went to school in Winfield, Alabama and graduated from Winfield High School in 1971. While attending Northwest Junior College from 1971-1973, Jim played baseball, basketball, volleyball, and competed in track and field. He was an accomplished athlete contributing to a 1972 second place national win in basketball, along with setting Alabama Junior College State and Southeast Regional records in javelin throwing in 1973, as well as participating in the 1973 National track meet in Pasadena, Texas. Jim’s exemplary athletic career continued well into his life as he competed in the MSBL World Series of baseball with a huge victory and the National Senior Olympics for javelin, always medaling and consistently setting and surpassing multiple records, even his own. Throughout his extraordinary javelin career, Jim accrued a collection of medals totaling 66 gold, 3 silver, and 1 bronze. Being blessed with such God-given skill and success, Jim selflessly mentored and coached many students in javelin from multiple schools all over Alabama, with several achieving state champion titles. Although many tried paying for his services, Jim’s response was always, “Pay it forward. God did not charge me for the talent, so why should I charge you?”
He worked in Human Resources as an Insurance Broker for Alabama Educators Association (AEA) members. He also read for a children’s animated film company until it dispersed in late 2008, due to economic downturn, which gave him the opportunity to retire to his love of training, mentoring, and coaching.
Jim Fuqua was well-known by family and friends for his tenacity and drive in everything he did, from his faith, relationships, athletics, exercising, and singing. He sang with the Alabama Reunion Singers based in Decatur, Alabama. They toured in all the major cities in Alabama, receiving standing ovations and never fail, encore requests. These overwhelming responses led to the group’s name later becoming Encore. He also sang in three men’s quartets and choirs along with numerous solo requests. Athletics and Music were integral parts of Jim’s life, but not the only loves in his life.
Jim married the love of his life, Marla Harkness Fuqua, on June 1, 1974, in Winfield, Alabama. They lived in Hartselle, Alabama for several years and raised their children there before returning to Fayette, Alabama to enjoy retirement life. Jim will be forever remembered for his big heart, Christian testimony, and zest for life full of unconditional love. He has left an undeniable permanent mark etched on our hearts and will be supremely missed, but never forgotten. Although our hearts are heavy, we will celebrate his life to the fullest.
Jim Fuqua is preceded in death by his son, Johnathan Gabriel Fuqua and his father, James A Fuqua, Sr.
Jim Fuqua is survived by his wife, Marla Harkness Fuqua; two children, Candida Fuqua Long (Brad) and Joshua Micah Fuqua (Karen); two brothers, Rod Fuqua (Stacy) and Mike Fuqua (Quanna); three sisters, Diana Reaves (Steve), Kelley Clements (John) and Becky Richardson; mother, Rebecca Bowlin Fuqua; four grandchildren, Brady and Brily Long, Aiden and Micah Fuqua.
The grandchildren will serve as honorary heralds of this celebration service.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks for donations to be made to the Citizens Bank of Winfield for the Jim Fuqua, Jr Scholarship Fund. This scholarship will honor and memorialize Jim by granting a student who is committed to training in javelin throwing and attends Jim’s alma mater, Winfield High School. The family of Jim Fuqua wishes to extend our sincere thanks to each and every one who served him so unconditionally.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of James A. Fuqua, Jr., please visit our floral store.