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James Leon Etheredge
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Obituary for James Leon Etheredge

November 16, 1931 - January 31, 2018

Elder James "Leon" Etheredge, 86, resident of Floyd E. "Tut" Fann State Veterans Home, departed to his heavenly home on Wednesday January 31st, 2018, after a long battle with Alzheimer's.

Leon was born November 16, 1931 at Ozark, Dale County Alabama, the fourth of five children born to Elder S.W. Etheredge and Lena Hester Etheredge. Elder Leon was raised in a God fearing, devout Primitive Baptist home. After graduating from high school, and spending four years in the US Air Force, Leon used the GI bill to earn a BS degree in Electrical Engineering from Auburn University in December 1957. While in college he married Betty Jo Spurlock of Ozark, Alabama. This union was blessed with four children.

His experience of being called out of nature's darkness into God's marvelous light happened the first Sunday in December 1963. He was called to preach soon after and at the request of Elder Gene Thomas, made his first effort to speak in the name of God at Bethel church in June 1965, and was ordained to the full work of the Gospel ministry in June of 1966. He served several churches in the North Alabama area for over 47 years. Leon then recognized it was his time to step down as pastor. He was blessed to exercise a life devoted to serving God.

Professionally, Leon was instrumental in developing and monitoring numerous systems related to the space program and had a long career at the NASA facility on Redstone Arsenal near Huntsville. After an early retirement there, he went on to work on the Hubble Telescope program at United Space Boosters.

In 1979, Leon bought a farm in the Lim Rock area, east of Woodville AL and turned his attention to raising cattle, as well as planting and growing vineyards and fruit orchards. We lovingly told him he didn't retire, he just 'changed hats!' he was active in these pursuits; yet, his church family was always his first love and he enjoyed traveling to meeting near and far to proclaim God's goodness to congregants across the southeast.

Leon is survived by four children: Michael (Diane), Terry (Faye), Sharon (Chuck) Moore, and Sam (Debbie). There are nine grandchildren: Michael, Wesley, Josh, Chase, Jason, Jake, Savannah, Cody, and Taryn, along with twelve great grandchildren. Further, Leon had a large church family and loved them dearly. As a grandfather and great grandfather, He came to their birthday parties and always laughed and loved the young. Even as his Alzheimer's progressed, he called them "my people".

Visitation will be from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. on Friday evening at New Hope Funeral Home. Body will lie in state 30 minutes prior to the funeral services being held at Bethel Primitive Baptist Church, 2611 Cherry Tree Road, New Hope, AL 35760 at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, February 3rd, 2018. Interment will follow at Bethel Cemetery. Afterwards, lunch will be served for family and friends to fellowship and reminisce.

In lieu of flowers the family would like donations to be made to Floyd E "Tut" Fann State Veterans Home (2701 Meridian Street, Huntsville, AL 35811).

Previous Events





6:00 PM - 8:00 PM
New Hope Funeral Home

2500 Oak Grove Road
New Hope, AL 35760

Funeral Ceremony




10:30 AM
Bethel Primitive Baptist Church

2611 Cherry Tree Rd.
New Hope, AL 35760





Bethel Cemetery

154 Keel Hollow Rd.
New Hope, AL 35760


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