James Cornelius Potter, Jr. was born on August 15, 1941, to Mary Ida “Mary Jo” and James C. Potter, Sr. in Beaumont, Texas. He died peacefully on November 30, 2022, while his wife and kids were at his side.
James was preceded in death by his parents, and brothers, Earl Cullen Potter and Haden Kelly Potter; sisters, Peggy Joyce Potter and Lela Potter Williams. He is survived by his wife of 55 years, Lula Langham Potter; son, Watson Finley Potter, wife Kate, and their children Jackson Finley Potter, Benjamin Douglas Potter, and Claire Catherine Potter; daughter Lula Paige Potter Ridout, husband, Steven Rogers Ridout, Sr., and their children Steven Rogers Ridout, Jr., John Dandridge Ridout, and Lula Elodie Ridout; son, James Cornelius Potter, III “Neil”, wife, Macari and their children Kendall Macari Potter, Mary Langham Potter, and James Cornelius Potter, IV; sisters, JoAnn Potter Alexander, Margaret Potter Meaux, and Dottie Potter Braren; and brother, Donnie Potter, as well as many neices, nephews, great neices, great nephews, and countless life long friends.
James grew up in Beaumont, graduated from South Park High School in 1959 continuing his education at Lamar State College of Technology graduating in 1965. As a member of the Sigma Nu fraternity, Potter was the life of the party even then.
In May 1967, James married the love of his life, Lula Langham. Lula and Potter built a life of 55 years together in Beaumont, raising their three children: Watson, Paige, and Neil.
Through Potter Construction he and brother Haden, built homes throughout the community. His first professional career began as a school teacher in the public school system where he later served on the Board of Beaumont ISD and the Board of Monsignor Kelly High School. Continuing the family tradition, Potter served as a Neches River Festival Knight for over 54 years. In 1978 he was the 30th President, and seven years later was crowned King Neches XXXVII. Committed to education and service to others, Potter served his community through mutliple civic organization to include St. Anthony’s Cathedral Basilica and a member of the Board of Directors on the McFaddin Ward House. Potter devoted over 40 years of service to the BC Hebert Heir families, SBI Management, the Beaumont Rice Mill, and H& L Farms.
He found peace in marshland sunrises and beauty in Hill Country sunsets, where family time was sacred. ‘Potter Porch Time’ was always open to loved ones of any age.
He was strong in faith, family, and education. Potter was larger than life in stature and in heart, with a handshake that delivered an unspoken and reliable bond.
Our friend Potter made life a joy with a boisterious laugh and incredible sense of humor. He was a genuine advisor and fierce protector to so many more than his three children. He cared. He listened. He loved.
A Christian Vigil for Potter will be at 5:00 p.m., with a gathering of family and friends to follow until 7:00 p.m., Sunday, December 4, 2022, at Broussard’s. (2000 McFaddin Avenue, Beaumont)
A Mass of Christian Burial and celebration of life at 11:00 a.m., Monday, December 5, 2022, at St. Anthony Cathedral Basilica, (700 Jefferson Street, Beaumont).
Internment to follow at Magnolia Cemetery, Beaumont. The family requests that memorial contributions be made in his memory to St. Anthony Cathedral Basilica School, designated academic gift, 850 Forsythe Street, Beaumont, Texas 77701.