MALDEN - James E. Leathers, 80, died March 6, 2002, at the John J. Pershing Veterans Administration Medical Center in Poplar Bluff.
Born Oct. 25, 1921, in Parma, son of the late Charles Earnest and Minnie Ethel Borders Leathers, he was a farmer, trucker and watermelon broker. He served with the U.S. Army during World War II. A member of the First General Baptist Church in Malden, he was elected "Watermelon King" in Southeast Missouri.
On Nov. 2, 1940, in Malden, he married Corean Unice McPherson who preceded him in death on Aug. 26, 1993.
Survivors include: two sons and daughters-in-law, Jim and Wanda Leathers of LaBelle, Fla., and Jerry Mack and Joyce Leathers of Kansas City; three daughters and sons-in-law, Phyllis and Dan Gruchella of St. Louis, Sue and Marty Heid of Tampa, Fla., and Tammie and Michael Doyel of Yuma, Ariz.; one sister, Imogene Stewart of Collierville, Tenn.; one brother, Dr. Charles Leathers of Salem; and 13 grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren.
Also preceding him were one sister, Marie Snider; and two brothers, Roy Leathers and Buddy Leathers.
Services were conducted Saturday at Landess Funeral Home with the Rev. Dale Shoup officiating.
Burial followed in Memorial Park Cemetery in Malden.