Jimmy Coward has gone fishin’.
Jimmy Marsh Coward, 90, of Siler City, passed away Friday, Aug. 4, 2023. He was born Dec. 22, 1932, to John and Ometa Ward Coward of Ramseur, the seventh of 10 children. He grew up in Liberty, graduating from Liberty High School, where he played baseball and basketball.
He served in the U.S. Army from 1953 to 1955, earning the National Defense Service Medal, the Korean Service Medal and the United Nations Service Medal.
After the service, he went to work for A.J. Schnierson & Sons in Siler City, from where he eventually retired after many years as a supervisor.
Jimmy was a faithful and active member of Moon’s Chapel Baptist Church in Siler City.
He was also a proud participant in the “Liar’s Club” at Muzzie’s Drive-In in Liberty with several lifelong friends. He liked to joke that he didn’t attend as much as the others “because I don’t have as many lies to tell.”
"Papa Jimmy" loved the Lord, his family (mostly the grandkids), fishing, Tar Heel basketball and ice cream — not always in that order.
If you own a pond in Chatham or Randolph counties, he’s probably been up your driveway to introduce himself, asking to fish. He kept notebooks (yes, plural) of pond locations, dates and sizes of fish caught. "Paw-Paw" wasn’t much for technology, never sent an email or typed a text, but somehow he knew how to send out photos of his latest big bass. (He’d want you to know his record was 7.5 pounds).
Later in life, for several years, “Mr. Jimmy” was the unofficial mayor of Village Lake Inn senior living center in Siler City.
In addition to his parents, Jimmy was preceded in death by his sisters LeePet York, Betty Beard, Louise Overman, Mildred Breedlove, Marie Cox, and brothers James "Fid" Coward, Bill Coward and Charles Coward.
He is survived by sons Marty Coward (wife Dena) of Wake Forest and Chad Coward (Becky) of Severna Park, Md.; grandchildren Chelsea Coward, Charley Coward, Griffin Coward, Megan Height, Alex Height; his sister Barbara Phillips of Siler City; and several nieces and nephews.
A visitation will be held Saturday, Aug. 12, 2023, at Smith & Buckner Funeral Home, from 6-8 p.m. The funeral service is noon, Sunday, Aug. 13, at Moon’s Chapel Baptist with Dr. Patrick Fuller officiating. Burial will follow in the church cemetery.