Jimmy Lovell Ledbetter, 82, passed away peacefully Sunday, June 21, 2020, surrounded by his family. Jimmy was born on April 9, 1938 - the third of six children - to Vernon Monroe Ledbetter and Rosa Mae Bentley in Fort Worth, Texas. Jimmy loved all of his siblings, but was especially close to his only brother Jack, who passed away in December of 1988.
Jimmy met the blue-eyed, blonde-headed Sondra Lou Creach at the Kennedale Church of Christ when they were both young teenagers. After asking for Sondra’s hand in marriage and being told no by his would-be father-in-law (afterall, she was only 16!), the lovestruck couple eloped on June 22, 1957. However, their plan was almost foiled on that fateful day sixty-three years ago when Sondra’s little brother Ray persisted in asking why she had placed her toothbrush in her pocket! What Ray nor any one else knew, was that Jimmy had snuck Sondra’s suitcase to his car a few days earlier. When the newlyweds returned home and the dust had settled, no one was happier with the union than Jimmy’s new father-in-law.
In 1969, after living in the Fort Worth area for a dozen years, Jimmy moved his young family, which now included three sons, to Maypearl, Texas. The next year, Jimmy and Sondra’s only daughter was born, making their family of six complete. Upon moving to town, Jimmy and his family became members of the Maypearl Church of Christ, where they met life-long friends Jim and Gail Evans, Roy and Joyce Harris, and Don and Cene Hinde. Through their fifty-plus year friendship, “the gang” enjoyed countless hours of laughter, fellowship, cards, and dominoes.
In 2004, Jimmy and Sondra became members of the Venus Church of Christ. Besides his family and friends, Jimmy loved sweet tea, jalapeno peppers, country music, fishing, and watching his grandchildren and great-grandchildren participate in sports. One of his favorite pastimes was swinging on the front porch watching the chickens and looking for deer. Always a simple man, his hundred-acre farm was his Heaven on Earth.
Jimmy worked at Gifford Hill Cement Company in Fort Worth, Texas, until 1977 when he took a job with the Maypearl Independent School District. During his twenty years with the district, Jimmy did everything from pouring concrete sidewalks to mowing the grass. No job was too big or too small. If it needed to be done, Jimmy jumped in and took care of it. Everyone loved Mr. Ledbetter, especially the kids who were lucky enough to be on his bus route. On the weekends and after school, Jimmy always had other projects going, usually several at one time. He worked hard all of his life and taught not only his three sons and grandsons, the value of hard work, but also numerous young men in town. He built and rented affordable houses to many people who might not ever have had the opportunity to own their own home.
But, Jimmy’s greatest life work was “being a friend to man.” He spent his 82 years on Earth making it a better place by touching the countless lives of the people whom he came into contact with. Simply put, if you were lucky enough to have known Jimmy Ledbetter, you had a lifelong friend. Tim McGraw could very well have written the words Humble and Kind for this remarkable man.
Jimmy is survived by his wife and bestfriend Sondra Ledbetter; son Kenneth Lovell Ledbetter and wife Pinky; son Karl Ray Ledbetter; son Kirk Lee Ledbetter; daughter Kristi Ledbetter Holley and husband Kyle; grandsons Dwayne Lovell Ledbetter and wife Heather (Ryleigh, Steelie, and Harper); Brandon Ray Ledbetter and wife Sabrina (Brian, Stormie, Olyve, and Brandon Jr.); Alan Ray Ledbetter; Kolton Lee Holley (Kolbi); Bryton Lane Ledbetter (Kami and Aurora); Kort Holley; granddaughters Emily Ledbetter Isaguirre and Karson Olivia Holley; baby sister Melva Ledbetter Jones and husband Larry; brothers-in-law George C. Creach and Ray Creach; sisters-in-law Cheryl Creach Abbott, Sharon Creach and Rhonda Creach; first-cousin James Allen Ledbetter and wife Ann; and numerous nephews and nieces. Jimmy was preceded in death by his parents, wife’s parents, brother Jack Ledbetter, and sisters Mary Lemely, Marie Sanders, and Liz Hawkam.
Services will be held Thursday, June 25, 2020, at Waxahachie Funeral Home. Visitation will begin at 10:00 and the funeral at 11:00. Interment at Ozro Cemetery in Maypearl immediately following the service.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to the Maypearl ISD Boone Memorial Scholarship fund in his name. Donations gladly accepted at the Cowboy Bank of Texas in Maypearl (972.435.2131).