Wilson Funeral Home
James Sylvester Reynolds, Sr.
( November 04, 1923 - September 18, 2019 )
Memorial services will be held Saturday, November 9th, 2019 at 9:00 am at the Life Church, 6224 Old Pasco Road, Wesley Chapel, FL. Pastor Ed Russo will officiate.
James Sylvester Reynolds was born on November 4, 1923 to Mattie Gissendaner Reynolds and Jim Reynolds in Dale, Alabama. Affectionately known as “J.S.” he was the oldest of two boys born to this union. He came to know Christ at an early age and was baptised in his families church, William Chapel A.M.E Zion. His first official paid position was as a bicycle delivery boy around age 11 but in truth he’d been hustling delivering hot lunches since he was about 5 or 6. He took pride in being an earner and he never turned down a chance to make an honest penny. James left school before the 8th grade and kept his family afloat after his Mother died tragically. Around 17 he began to travel the South and Midwest by hiding on trains thus joining the ranks of the hobos. He knew the intimate details of how to catch a train safely, how to evade the railroad detectives and how to wrangle a meal and share it with his fellow rail riders. He often said he was saved by the Grace of God on many occasions. His last trip took him to Detroit where he met and married the beautiful bright eyed Clara Del Pruitt. Together they created a family of seven, entertained friends, served their community and left a legacy of love and devotion. James faithfully served in the U.S. Navy as a Seabee offloading munitions and other cargo as a wench operator. After the war he was employed by Chrysler Motor Company for 36 years working his way up the ranks from union organizer to union steward and eventually the second African American hired into supervision at the Mound road plant. Not one to rest on his
laurels, he dug in and went back to get his GED after retirement which was a great source of pride. He has been a block club president, Scoutmaster, Newaygo county commisioner, Seabees Island Commander and Chaplain, Deacon at Woodland Park and New Jerusalem Baptist churches and all around mentor to scores of people. In his day he avidly hunted and fished and was a great steward of the land. His passion was travelling and meeting new people. There were no strangers to James; only people he had yet to meet.
The Family would like to thank Life Church congregants and staff and Pastors Ed and Janis Russo and Pastor Tom for kindnesses shown since 2015; CARES Crescent Adult Day Care staff for their outstanding care; P.A. Rachel Odioso-Cruz for great medical care; Gulfside and Seasons Hospice for caring for us through to the end; The V.A. for honoring its commitment; Casa Santa Martha staff for their amazing love, care and concern until the last moment and beyond and all of our friends who took time out with Mr. James, loving him like he was yours-because he was. Most especially, eternal hugs for son-in-law Raymond V. Blakely for exceptional love and compassion through the years. He was grateful for each and every one of you!