James A. (Doc) Potts passed away Sunday evening, February 3, in Dallas at the age of 89.
Doc was surrounded by his children, their spouses and most of his nine grandchildren over the weekend.
He was born on August 18, 1923 in Lubbock County to Charles Thurman and Ella Snodgrass Potts.The family, which included three boys and a girl, lived northwest of Lubbock on a small parcel of land adjacent to what is today’s Lubbock Lake Historical site until the family moved to a cotton farm southwest of Lubbock in the Barton/Cooper area.Doc was active in the 4-H Club and won numerous honors. His steer won Grand Champion in Lubbock’s 1937 stock show followed by him being awarded a trip to the National 4-H Assembly in Chicago the following year. Upon returning he announced to his parents that he would someday be a county agent, which dream he eventually fulfilled.He won the 4-H State Livestock Championship in 1940 and received a trip to Washington D.C. He set an all-time record for his 8 years in 4-H by receiving gross income of $6,000 for his livestock projects.In 1941 he enrolled in Texas Tech and a semester later joined the ROTC after the bombing of Pearl Harbor leaving college in April of 1943 to join the service and ultimately serving at an Army medical base north of London.
When the war ended he was discharged and returned home to marry Melba Slater, also from the Cooper area, in 1946. He graduated from Tech with a degree in agriculture economics and became an assistant county agent in Lovington, New Mexico.
Doc joined the Tulia based Taylor-Evans Farm Stores in 1951 and later became a part owner. Taylor-Evans was involved in numerous agriculturally-related businesses including farm and ranch supplies, seed, fertilizer and chemicals. The seed operations included extensive research programs in hybrid grain sorghums which seed was distributed in 25 states, Central and South American, Africa, and Europe. The company was acquired by Diamond Shamrock in 1969 and Doc left the new company in 1972.
In 1973 he was Potentate of the Khiva Shrine Temple of Amarillo and also head of fund raising to establish the Nance Ranch Project for West Texas State in Canyon.
His great love was organizing, motivating people and selling; so after a brief attempt at retiring, Doc put his entrepreneurial spirit back to work as he purchased control of the small struggling First National Bank of Plainview.This began a new career. The bank grew and prospered over the next ten years and was sold in 1982.
Doc Potts was a loving husband, father, grandfather and a loyal Red Raider. He was an outstanding contributor to many known and unknown individuals and causes.
He was preceded in death by Mel, his wife of 63 years, and survived by his children J’Melle Fletcher and husband Gary of Amarillo, Kathy Boyett and husband David of Dallas, Marilyn Gentry and husband Rob of Denton,Jim Potts and wife Karen of Ft. Worth, nine grandchildren and nine great grandchildren.
Services will be Friday, February 8, at 3:00 in the chapel of First United Methodist Church of Plainview with Rev. Ted Wilson officiating.Arrangements and viewing are with Kornerstone Funeral Directors.
In lieu of flowers, the family would welcome a donation to your favorite charity. Mel and Doc have endowed scholarship funds at both Wayland College and Texas Tech University.