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James William Houchin (Plainview)

November 17, 1927 — April 7, 2023

James William Houchin (Plainview)

At his home in Petersburg, Texas with family near, James William Houchin died in faith in Jesus, his Savior and Lord, on Good Friday, April 7, 2023.  He was 95 years of age.

Born in Cooper, Texas on November 17, 1927 to Oscar Samuel Houchin and his wife, Ruby Newton Houchin, James was one of six children born to these parents.  James loved them all - his parents, three brothers (Sam, Danley and Waylon) and two sisters (Lois and Mary).  He was preceded in death by his parents and all of his siblings.  His childhood years were spent in Ladonia, Cooper and Honey Grove before the family eventually moved to Ralls, Texas.  It was also in Ralls that James later met Sally (Geneva Mae) Melton.  Following a brief courtship, they were married on December 22, 1950.  Excited about their life and future, their joy increased when a son, Donald Ray, joined the family on a snowy January 4, 1952.  He was their favorite and only child.

This happy trio moved to Petersburg, Texas in 1956, which proved to be one of their best decisions ever.  James joined Bill Boren’s team at United Motors, where he skillfully restored vehicles brought in for repairs and service.  Decades later, he and Sally opened Houchin Body Shop on Main Street, only a few blocks north of the original United Motors location.  James took great pride and care of each car, pickup, truck or other vehicle entrusted to him.  As a small business owner, he practiced both skill and integrity.  Customers received respect and timely service.  His painting was perfection.  He and Sally were a good team, as she kept records and made numerous trips to nearby towns to obtain replacement parts and supplies.  Inspection stickers became James’ “calling cards”, each one issued with honesty and only when official standards had been met.  He believed in utmost safety for the people who drove vehicles inspected under his watch.

James embraced hard work, honest wages, loyalty and fairness.  He loved God, this country, and lived by the Golden Rule.  Prior to marrying and starting their family, James served during the Korean conflict, completing military service in the US Army from April 10, 1946 to April 24, 1947.  As PFC, 89th Station Hospital, he served as a Utility Repairman.  Perhaps this was the genesis of his lifelong ability to repair most anything!  He also attained specialty qualifications as MKM M1 Rifle Carbine.  His military honors include the WWII Victory Medal; Army of Occupation Medal; and last October 2022, he was awarded the non-commissioned office Medallion for service during the Korean War, during Petersburg Day festivities.  An untimely bout of Covid prevented him from attending the ceremony in person.

James is survived by Sally, his loving wife of 72 years; son and daughter-in-law, Don and Dena Houchin (Houston); and numerous nieces and nephews.  Special recognition is given to Cathy Champion for her exceptional attention and care both to James and Sally during these past five years.  She has become family to us. Also special thanks to the Porters (Cindy and Kim), Tommye Sue Foote and Irma Rosas for their special friendship and love during James’ illness

Under the direction of Kornerstone Funeral Directors, graveside services will be held at Petersburg Cemetery on Monday April 10th, 11:00 AM with Pastor Ellis Dean officiating.  In lieu of floral tributes, those desiring to give a memorial for James are encouraged to consider First Baptist Church, P.O. Box 469, Petersburg, Texas 79250, Attention: Judy Bowyer, or to the charity of your choice.     

To order memorial trees in memory of James William Houchin (Plainview), please visit our tree store.

Past Services

Graveside Service

Monday, April 10, 2023

Starts at 11:00 am (Central time)

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