James Edward Battle was a family man, mentor, and role model within the community, exhibiting fine qualities of faith, strength and courage. He was born on February 11, 1937 in Toney, Alabama to the late Governor Battle and Damie Battle. He was second eldest to this special union. He endured 71 years of life on this earth until retiring Friday, April 18, 2008.
A man deeply rooted in his faith this was evident by the loyalty and dedication of service in over 50 years in the Meridianville P. B. Church. James wholeheartedly supported all church activities and functions such as his roles as a Deacon, member of the Male and Senior Choirs, Sunday School teacher, Chairman of Benevolent Offering and very close friend to all in the church.
A man of strength, despite the many obstacles he faced in his life. His favorite scripture is found in Philippians 4:13, where all Christians are encouraged to draw strength from Christ. He proved to be a pillar of strength to family and friends.
A strong family supporter at the age of 13 he accepted the role of head of the household due to the loss of his father. He lovingly cared and provided for his four younger siblings. As a natural provider caring for his own wife and six children was a role he cherished until his death. He was a strong example for his family during the devasting loss of critical family members; Macelean Battle (wife), Anthony Battle (son), Damie Battle (mother), Governor Battle (father) J. B. Battle (brother) and other close friends.
A self made man with many business ventures starting at the age of 10. He and his brother Willie B. picked and sold blackberries. When a local store owner failed to pay them an agreed upon amount, this taught a few very valuable lessons "Get Paid for Your services" and "Be a man of your word". But the main lesson learned was that, no man could pay him what he was worth! In 1958 he became the first African American speedometer technician, his services were requested on many occasions from Huntsville, AL to San Francisco, CA. In 1968 he became the first licensed man in Alabama to provide limousine services to the likes of Jessie Jackson, Elvis Presley, The Commodores, The Jackson Five, and Maze featuring Frankie Beverly to mention a few. In that same year he also became an independent wholesale automotive distributor as well as a local owner of a Dry Cleaners in downtown Huntsville. In 1972 as a young entrepreneur he lead the way for "Pin Stripping" in multiple areas such as airplanes, buildings, boats, large rigs and automobiles. His extreme success in Pin Stripping continues through his family to date. James will always be known for his extraordinary work ethic, integrity and innovative ideas. Although strongly admired, we will never be able to fill his shoes; we can only look back in amazement.
To the loving family of James and Macelean (deceased), his wife of nearly five decades are six lovely, children, one who preceded them in death Anthony Battle. James is survived by five loyal and supportive children, Raymond (Norma Jean) of Jacksonville, FL, Sabrina Ann Mitchell (Aaron) of Dallas, TX, Brutus (Talietha); Annie Priscilla and Lajuane Monique Battle all of Huntsville, AL and a very "special" daughter, Sharon Battle Dudley (Anthony) of St. Louis, MO; he also leaves behind six siblings, Ora Childress (Lawrence) Elizabeth Love; his lifelong best friend Willie B. (Mattie); he affectionately raised as his own Geraldine Bell, Loretta Langford (Larry) all of Huntsville, AL, Elnoria Tibbs (Donald) of Cleveland, OH; others that preceded him in death are Lucy Sledge (Joseph), John T. (Annie), Anna Stewart (Robert E. Sr.), J. B. Battle. Grandchildren include: Melissa Cartwright (Herbert), Mallory and Meriel Battle, Angelina Pettway (Christopher), LaKeisha, Yohonna, LaToya, Buddy, Brandon and A. J. Battle, his great-grandchildren include, Camryn Antonia Pettway and Ariyan Elise Battle and a host of nieces and nephews.
Funeral services for Mr. Battle will be held at 1:00 p.m. on Thursday from the St. Bartley P. B. Church with Elder Maurice Childress officiating. Interment will be in Meadowlawn Garden of Peace. The Battle family will receive friends from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. on Wednesday from the funeral home. The remains of Mr. Battle will be in the church one hour prior to funeral time.