Cover photo for James Thacker's Obituary
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1943 James 2024

James Thacker

February 19, 1943 — April 11, 2024

James Herbert Thacker, 81, entered his heavenly home on Thursday morning, April 11, 2024. 
His family held his hands as Jesus carried him on to Glory. James was ready to see Jesus and hug His neck and hoped to have a supper of unlimited crab legs with Him.
James was born February 19, 1943 to parents, Margaret Martindale and Herbert Thacker, and he grew up in Texarkana, Arkansas. 
Even at a young age he had an impeccable work ethic as he had chores alongside his older brothers on their home place. His first job was at the age of 12 making 25 cents an hour working at a gas station making $3 on Saturday’s. James began his sales career at the age of 14 at Ragland's Cigar Company. His lifelong career in sales brought many accolades, awards and recognitions such as “Top Manager/Salesman” in Food Wholesale, including Candies and Coffees. His territories were all over the states of Arkansas and Texas. He earned trips to Super Bowls, World Series, Vegas Tours, and more. James did not hold trophies and plaques in high esteem...he preferred cash.

James was a member of the Texarkana, Arkansas A&P Commission, 4-States Fair and Rodeo Committee, Loyal and Active member Beech Street First Baptist Church (where he served on many committees and a supporter of all things good).

James never met a stranger and made sure he introduced himself to everyone at least once at any gathering. You could hear his deep, booming voice as he spoke and complemented everyone. He did this so much at church, his pastor often had to ask him to quit hugging all the old “widder women” (his words not mine) and sit down so they could begin. He gave out hugs because he said he knew those ladies needed someone to hug them. He left a positive and encouraging impression to all he met.

James married his "deary", his "wifey" and his "pick of the litter", Janice Marie McBay, in May of 1961. James and Janice were one in this life. They were a team in all things. James and Janice planned and coordinated a lifetime of events. They planned and followed through on a million or more family reunions, family gatherings, baby and wedding showers, fine-dining events at their own dinner tables for family and loved ones and friends, and benevolent meals and outreach for their church. If there was a need, they made sure the need was met.

James was "Honey" to Janice, "Daddy" to Steve, Charles, Jana and Renee, "Poppa" to all the grands and greats, and "Uncle James" to a gob of nephews and nieces. James and Janice supported and encouraged their children, grands, family members at weddings, graduations, plays and concerts, revivals, singings, funerals and any get together mentioned when loved ones would be there. James always shared a tale or two, (most embellished for entertainment value).In stature, James was a giant of a man, and he loved his family with that huge heart. His Children, Grands and Greats were his Joy.

James was a planner. He was a testimony of Proverbs 29 that includes "Without a vision, the people perish". James lived this and assisted anyone with a plan of action for their own goals and dreams. If James went on a diet (which he called a "program"), there was a month-long laminated menu-sized meal plan to go with it. For others in his life, he was a true source of support and encouragement.

James loved Country and Gospel Music. He was a connoisseur of instruments, voices, and performances and knew the good stuff. While he was not always "on pitch", his deep and loud bass carried many songs. James always told that his junior high choir teacher told him that he would give him a "B" in chorus class if he never came back. He was especially fond of hearing and seeing his kinfolks, "The McBay Brothers" musical genius performances. They were especially fond of him, too. They were the best.

James and Janice lived a life of service to all. Everyone is a featured celebrity at their home and treated like royalty. 

James and Janice have had a positive and loving impact on all. There's always a laugh or a smile or mention of beauty when their names come up. Janice and James loved and accepted. Like Jesus does.

James is preceded in death by his parents, Herbert, Margaret and Beulah Thacker. His Mother and Father in law, Josephine Huett and Turner McBay, Siblings, Linden, Bobby and Helen Thacker Landa, granddaughters, Daisy Buchheit,  Infant Sarah Buchheit.  Sister in law, Anne McBay Johnson.

Survivors to cherish his life and antics, His "wifey" of 63 years, Janice McBay Thacker, Their Children, Donna Gaye and Steve Thacker, of Hot Springs, Janeen and Charles Thacker, Jana Buchheit, Renee and Richard Mauk, all of Texarkana, Daniel Buchheit of Hot Springs. Grandchildren, Katie and John Gunter of Mont Belvieu, TX, Randi and Sam Thacker of Bonnerdale, AR, Terra and Ben Thacker of Hope, Emily and Tanner Reed of Texarkana , Luke Buchheit of Texarkana, Shannon and James Buchheit, of St Petersburg, FL, Liz and Adam Cornwell of Stephens, Olivia Buchheit, Willow Buchheit, Rachel and Scott Rider, Peyton Anthony, Parker Anthony of Texarkana, Amber and Jason Anthony, of Fouke, AR,  Jake Mauk, Charles Mauk, all of Texarkana. Cassie and Charles Brown, of Red Lick, TX  Great Grands -Evan, Logan, JT, Julia Marie, Alex, Adam, Alice, Holly, Silas, Lillie, Benton, Anna Grace, Cameron, Dennis, Kaydence, Rhys , Billy, Adalee, Chandler and Hollie.
In-Laws for always,  Wilma and Danny Gibbons,  Lisa and Sonny McBay,  Donna Jo and David Carter,  Donald Johnson, Diana and Tony Landa all of Texarkana.  

James always said that he got the "pick of the litter" of the McBay girls. And, he did!

Join us for a Celebration of James' life on Saturday, April 20, 2024Beech Street First Baptist Church, Texarkana, Arkansas.

Pallbearers are Grandsons: Sam and Ben Thacker, Luke and James Buchheit, Peyton and Parker Anthony 

Visitation at 11AM,  Service at Noon, with Reverend Charles Thacker officiating.  

Private burial at a later date.
To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of James Thacker, please visit our flower store.

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