James “Kenny” Masters
1948 - 2020
James “Kenny” Masters, age 71, passed away on January 18, 2020. James was born on December 1, 1948 to James Tilton and Jessie Lea Croft Masters.
His innate charisma and passion for life manifested itself into a colorful, accomplished personal story. Kenny had a heart full of love, love for his family, love for his professions and hobbies, love for the hearts and affection of people. Often, he could barely contain his uncomplicated joy for the little things in life, and it bore out in song. He loved to sing; to him there was a song for just about any of life’s situations. For his flirtatious confidence you might hear, “It’s Hard to Be Humble”; to express his affection for his children, with a smile he sang “You Are My Sunshine”; and for his love of the Lord, there was always a hymn of praise on his lips. And not just when he was awake, as Kenny would continue to sing softly in his sleep. If he could not reach the tune for the respective track, he would just find one and carry on the song, often dancing along with it. Growing up in Florien, LA, he embarked early on his storied professional career. Owning and training racehorses, running a feed store, serving proudly as a deputy sheriff and a few other law enforcement positions, Kenny excelled at whatever he tried. As a young man, he proudly served in the Marine Corps. After pursuing his calling for education, he became a teacher and administrator, with his credentials only falling a few credits short of a doctorate. History, World Geography, and Government were his favorites, and he spent several years working in Louisiana impacting the lives of many. His move to Texas brought him much opportunity economically and a change of alias to “James”, spending years in teaching and administration before his eventual retirement to blueberry farming. At his Wipperwill Blueberry Farm in Kountze, six years passed as he continued loving life and following the song in his heart. He never stopped helping those around him, especially the children in his life that were in need, raising and mentoring several young men and women. James’ zeal for politics and government was constant; he loved Fox News and hated CNN. He would not mind letting a friend or acquaintance know that “Donald Trump was saving the United States of America.” James made a mark on any that crossed his path, and he will be missed as he is undoubtedly blessing those on the other side with his song.
Left to honor his memory is his wife, Carolyn Masters; sons, Chad Walker and husband, Russel Chreene, of Tomball, TX, Dustin Walker of Austin, TX, and James Tanner Masters and wife, Tori, of Conroe, TX; daughters, Lura LeTisha Masters of Vidor, TX, Jamie Ja-Nee Masters and partner, Michael McWilliams, of Silsbee, TX, Ashley La-Nee Masters Hanley and husband, Mark, of Huntsville, TX, Leila LeShea Masters Ali and husband, Roddy, of Montgomery, AL; brother, Donald Masters and wife, Linda, of Quitman, TX; sister, Constance “Connie” Faye Ferguson and husband, Jessie, of Florien, LA; adopted sons, Lucas Mercer and Jesse Enahoro; grandchildren, Christian Walker, Morgan Walker, Chloe Walker, Jenna Walker, Tina Walker, Nathan Ringo, Aubree Masters, Bradley McWilliams, Macie McWilliams, Kodie Hanley, Camryn Hanley, Ashley Hanley, Jason Handley, Cameron Ali, Isabell Ali, Alexis Masters, Asher Masters, Justin Thomas and Shantae Thomas; great-grandchildren, Eleanor Marie Hoke, Lauren Melancon, Madison Melancon, and Steven Thomas; his beloved dog and constant companion, Abigail; and a host of extended family, friends and loved ones.
Preceding Kenny in death are his parents; daughter, Regina Lea Masters; sisters, Ruth Lynnette Masters and Sharon Lee Masters Green; and brother-in-law, Jerald Green.
Visitation for family and friends will be Monday, January 20, 2020 from 5:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. at Cornerstone Baptist Church, 1600 S Pine St, Kountze, TX 77625. Kenny’s life honoring funeral service will be 2:00 p.m., January 21, 2020 at Union Baptist Church, 39200 US-171, Florien, LA 71429, with Pastor Scott Moyer officiating.
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