James Eldred Haywood

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

James Eldred Haywood, 94, of Piggott, Ark., passed away January 18, 2016, at his home in Piggott.

He was born on March 26, 1921, and was the son of the late James Henry and Odra Lillian (Bradford) Haywood.

He attended local schools in the Piggott area before enlisting in the U.S. Navy in January of 1941. He served in the U.S. Submarine Service during and after World War II, retiring as a Chief Torpedoman in February of 1961. He married Thelma Irene Mayfield of Sacramento, Calif., in Reno, Nev., on March 20, 1944. After retirement from the Navy, he and his wife Thelma lived all their life in Sacramento and recently celebrated 71 years of married bliss. His final retirement as an employee of the California Highway Patrol came in 1983 after 22 years of service.

He became an avid golfer belonging to and playing with several golf clubs, but his main hobby was genealogy. He and wife, Thelma, traveled all over the United States seeking out and establishing their respective family histories. In 1993, he wrote and published his Haywood Family History, disseminating copies to all interested family members.

He also became a member of the Organization of U.S. Submarine Veterans of World War II, founding a local Sacramento Chapter, thereafter serving that entity as California State Commander and National President. One of his proudest accomplishments was selecting President Ronald Reagan for "Honorary Membership" in the Organization of U.S. Submarine Veterans of World War II, and making the award presentation in person. In later years he would serve as President of the Past National President's Club. A member of the Carmichael Elks Lodge #2103, Sacramento Eagles Aerie #9, Root Cellar Genealogy Club of Sacramento, Clay County Genealogy Club, Fleet Reserve Association, lifetime member of the American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars, Submarine Veterans, Inc. and a Holland Club Member. He was recognized by the Military Services as a Veteran of three wars, World War II, Korea and the Cold War.

After his wife Thelma suffered a crippling stroke in 2001, he cared for her at home for many years.

He was preceded in death by an infant daughter, Cynthia Mae; four brothers, Waynard, Hulen, Boyce and Roger and three sisters, Alma Joyce, Sue and Wilma. He is survived by his wife, Thelma; one brother, Paul Haywood; sisters, Ella Jean, Elaine and Carolyn as well as a host of nieces and nephews.

Funeral services will be held at 2 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 22, in the Hoggard and Sons Chapel with Kevin Murray officiating. Burial is in Piggott Cemetery. Hoggard and Sons Funeral Home of Piggott, is in charge of arrangements. Visitation will be held beginning at noon on Friday, and will continue until the time of the service at 2, at the funeral home.