James Ervin Meadows
S/SGT in 23rd Headquarters Co
Military occupational specialty: 673 (medical NCO)
Born 1916 in WV, Died 1974
County of residence at enlistment: Summers County, WV
Other residence(s): Hinton, WV
United States Army, European Theatre of Operations
Occupation before the war: embalmers and undertakers
College education before the war: West Virginia Univ. 2 years; Eckles College of Embalming; Cincinnati College of Mortuary Science
Jimmy Meadows was born on March 27, 1916 in Hinton, WV, the younger of two children. His father managed a furniture store and later became an undertaker, establishing E.M. Meadows Funeral Home in 1935. He also served for a time as Mayor of Hinton. Jimmy's grandparents had been early pioneers in Summers County.
Jimmy graduated from Hinton High School, and did two years of pre-med study at West Virginia University. He then attended Eckels College of Embalming in Philadelphia, and graduated from the Cincinnati College of Embalming (now the Cincinnati College of Mortuary Science). After completing his education, he returned to Hinton and went into business with his father. He obtained his embalmer's license in 1938 and his funeral director's license in 1939.
He registered for the draft on October 16, 1940 and enlisted on July 17, 1941. He became a medical officer, doing a stint at Walter Reed Hospital early in 1942. He eventually served as a medical NCO for the 23rd HQ Company, and went to Europe with the Ghost Army in May, 1944. He was discharged from the Army with the rank of Staff SGT on September 25, 1945. He then returned to Hinton, where he became a full partner in the funeral home with his father, assuming active management of the business.
On January 2, 1946 he married Christine Louise Damron, a teacher at Hinton High School. He was also elected that year as the first commander of the Summers County Post of the VFW, one of the youngest commanders in WV and among the first WW2 veterans to serve in such a role. After his term as Commander he became a member of the Board of Directors.
Jimmy and Christine divorced in 1951, and he married Mary Carol Eubank Bobbitt on August 23, 1953. They would go on to have three children: Thomas, Steven, and Kathryn. Sadly, Thomas died of a car accident in 1972 at the age of 18.
Jimmy also pursued a parallel career in politics, running for the Hinton City Council in 1947, and then winning election to the WV House of Delegates (the state's lower house) in 1972.
He was a member of the First Baptist Church, Hinton Masonic Lodge, the VFW, Hinton's Volunteer Fire Department, and the WV Funeral Directors' Association.
He died on March 25, 1974 after an unspecified illness, and is buried at Greenbrier Burial Park in Hinton. His wife Mary Carol had been one of the owner/operators of the funeral home, and continued to run the business until she retired in 1991.
1938 article in Hinton Daily News (WV); he receives embalmer's license
1939 article in the Independent-Herald (Hinton WV); he took exam for funeral director's license
1940 draft card
1941 enlistment record
1945 article in The Leader (Hinton WV) re his military experience & education & work
1946 article in the Hinton Daily News (WV) re his marriage
1946 article in the Hinton Daily News (WV) re his being elected VFW Commander
1947 article in the Hinton Daily News (WV) re his candidacy for city council
1953 article in the Hinton Daily News (WV) re his second marriage
1953 father's obituary in the Hinton Daily News (WV)
1974 Find a Grave record
1974 VA death record
1974 Social Security death record
1974 obituary in the Beckley Post-Herald (WV)
2016 wife's obituary