James Fowler Maxwell
September 23, 1931 - October 1, 2020
Rumor has it that there was a ruckus at the Pearly Gates recently; crowds gathered in excite- ment on October 1 as Jim Maxwell left his frail body behind, and was enveloped into the arms of the Savior he had served for so long and so well.
It makes us happy to imagine the hundreds of grateful folks that were there in heaven because of Jim's lifelong witness; it must have been a glorious reunion! But here on earth we will miss our gentle, yet fearless, husband, dad, grandfather, brother, brother-in-law, and friend.
James Fowler Maxwell was born on September 23, 1931, the firstborn of Solon and Mary Eliza- beth (Rodgers) Maxwell and big brother to Ruth. A child of the Depression, Jim learned to work long days on the farm. Early on, a commitment to serving the Lord interlaced his character and formed the foundation of his life of integrity. Jim's was a sensitive and artistic nature. But he also was also quietly stubborn, even fearless, when he decided something needed doing.
Unlike most kids in Baxter, Jim went to college, first at Tennessee Tech, then graduating from UT Knoxville in 1956, earning a degree in Agricultural Education. After graduation he served in the Army, and was stationed in Texas.
On one visit home in 1957, Jim retrieved the dropped purse of a pretty, dark-eyed girl he met on a homebound Trailways bus. They shared an admiration for the natural landscape outside the bus windows; he was forever smitten. On June 7, 1959, Jim and Glenna Marie Kerley were mar- ried, launching a love story that flourished for over 61 years.
Jim was a a pioneer in the burgeoning Nashville music scene; he opened Globe Recording Stu- dio (the second recording studio in Nashville) in 1960 on Broadway in Nashville, next to the Ryman Auditorium. In the early 70s, Globe was the first in the city to introduce high speed tape duplication and later, to offer cassette tape duplication. In his sixties, Jim went back to school to earn his funeral director license, and then purchased and operated his own funeral home.
Jim loved Glenna. Together they raised four kids, ran their businesses, worked the garden, and traveled the country. Through joys and sorrows they were devoted to one another, saying "I love you" often. Glenna brought Jim his Cokes (his only vice). Dad would get flirty with her, and she would giggle. (As kids, we would roll our eyes, but secretly we liked it.) Mom was the shelter for Dad's deep and tender heart. Until the days just before he entered heaven Dad called Mom his "sweet thing" and held her hand.
Jim (Dad) made sure his kids and grandkids knew that they were special; no one heard "I love you" more from their Dad than his kids did. He was proud of us, always encouraging our en- deavors. His 11 grandchildren brought him special joy. His example of honesty, integrity, and gentle kindness shaped our characters. We will miss his faithful prayers that have covered us throughout our lives.
The bedrock of Jim's life was his unshakeable faith - as a Gideon he traveled to speak the Gospel; he led the deacon board and counseling program for new Christians at Two Rivers Bap- tist Church. He had a passion for sharing Christ, even to strangers. As he grew older he didn't
give up; he had cards printed with the Gospel message, and left thousands anonymously in public restrooms.
Jim was creative. He won an award for songwriting, and liked to paint both landscapes and ab- stracts. He had a talent for design. Once he surprised us by performing an original rap for us called "The Maxwell Clan, Ya'll", backwards baseball cap and all.
Surviving Jim are his wife, Glenna, children Pippa, Brad, Amber and Britt, and their spouses Jonathan, Kate, Chris and Laura, grandchildren Samantha, Oliver, Sophia, Maxwell, Cassandra, Ellis, Sydney, Avery, Abigail, Evelyn, and Savannah, and sister Ruth and her husband, Doyle Taubert.
We have been honored to have known and loved Jim Maxwell; there are not many still like him. Rest well, good and faithful servant. We will see you again one day soon.
A graveside service will take place at 3:00 PM on Sunday, October 4, at the Maxwell Cemetery on Baxter Road in Baxter, followed by a outdoor Celebration of Jim's life with light refreshments served. If desired, flowers may be sent to Cole & Garrett Funeral Home.
From I-40 take Exit 280 and go south on Baxter Road. Maxwell Cemetery will be approximately 1/2 mile on your left, just past house #3486. The Celebration of Life will take place at the Taubert's home (#3486 Baxter Road).
Please note that social distancing opportunities will be provided in recognition of the health and safety of all guests; to create the safest opportunities to honor Jim and support Glenna we re- quest that guests wear face coverings throughout the events.