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James William "Jim" Abernathy, 87, was born Aug. 26, 1920, in Lutesville, Mo., and passed away Sunday, Jan. 13, 2008, at Missouri Veterans Home in Cape Girardeau.
Jim's parents are Delmar and Ora Choate Abernathy. In 1941 he married Mary Margaret Brorein, a music teacher at Lutesville High School.
They lived in St. Louis where he worked at Curtis-Wright Corp. until he was inducted into the U.S. Army. After training he was assigned to a headquarters company, and stationed at Camp Walthers in Mineral Wells, Texas.
After discharge from the Army in 1945, he farmed and lived near Sikeston, Mo., and attended the Agriculture Extension School from the University of Missouri. He continued farming until 2000.
Jim was on the ASCS Farm Board in Benton, Mo., and served as the president of the University of Missouri Extension Council. He was a member of the first Head Start board of directors. He was an appraiser with Federal Crop Insurers.
Jim proudly served on the Rural Electric board in Sikeston, Mo., chaired the M&A board in Poplar Bluff, Mo., a number of years, was treasurer for the Associated Electric board in Springfield, Mo., and was elected a state executive council member of cooperatives in Jefferson City, Mo.
He spent many years as a board member of the Special Road District in Sikeston.
In 2000, Jim and Mary Margaret retired and moved to Saxony Village in Cape Girardeau.
He is survived by his wife, Mary Margaret Abernathy; two daughters, Nancy Haertling and Karen Fox of Cape Girardeau; two granddaughters, Laura Fox and Krista Sharpe of St. Louis; two grandsons, Greg Haertling and wife Tiffany of Dallas, Brad Haertling and wife Shelia of Jackson; three great-granddaughters, Dru Haertling, Kelsey Haertling and Isabella Fox; a great-grandson, Kyle Haertling; a brother, William "Bud" Abernathy of Cape Girardeau; and a sister, Marie "Cissy" Dugger of Cape Girardeau.
Jim was preceded in death by a sister, Rosemary Abernathy Murphy, and a brother, Benjamin Franklin Abernathy.
Jim was a former member of First Methodist Church of Sikeston, and transferred his membership to Centenary United Methodist Church of Cape Gir-ardeau. He was a member of American Legion Post 63 in Cape Girardeau, and Farm Bureau of Missouri.
Jim spent his last years in the outstanding care at Missouri Veterans Home.
Visitation will be from 4 to 7 p.m. today at Ford and Sons Mount Auburn Funeral Home.
The funeral will be at 3:30 p.m. Wednesday at the funeral home, with the Rev. Jeff Long officiating. Burial will be at 10 a.m. Thursday in Missouri State Veterans Cemetery at Bloomfield, with military rites by Missouri Honors Team.
Memorials may be sent to Missouri Veterans Home Perpetual Trust Fund, Centenary United Methodist Church in Cape Gir-ardeau, or First United Methodist Church in Sikeston.