James Troy Epperson Obituary

James Troy Epperson Memorial Service
First Baptist Church, Cleburne, Texas
December 30, 1967

James Troy Epperson, son of the Rev. Matthew B. and Sarah Elizabeth Douglas Epperson, was born July 17, 1889 in Navada County, near Chiddester, Arkansas. He entered "that house not made with hands, eternal in heavens" on Thursday evening, December 28, 1967 at the age of 78 years, 5 months, and 11 days.

He spent his boyhood in Arkansas. At the age of 17 his family moved to Tucumcari then a frontier community, in New Mexico, staying there a little less than a year. All who knew Troy will remember the glow on his face and the light in his eyes when he told of the Epperson Family trek from Tucumcari by covered wagon to the community in south Texas, near Lakey.

From here Troy "Struck out on his own", as he used to say, and came to Cleburne. On January 4, 1911 he began his employment at the Santa Fe Shops as a machinists' helper and moved up through various positions until at the time of his retirement on July 29, 1960, he was senior managerial clerk.

On December 22, 1912 he was united in marriage to Trudie Chapel, who survives him. They had 2 sons, James Troy, Jr. who preceeded him in death on July 3, 1963, and Dwight, now residing in Greenville, S. C.

He joined the Anglin Street United Presbyterian Church on April 20, 1913 where he was the fourth oldest active member. In 1924 he was ordained an Elder in the Church and served faithfully throughout his life. At the time of his death he was Financial Secretary of the church and taught the Live Wire Bible Class. As his Pastor and close friend, I have never witnessed a more humble, dependable, and devoted servant of Jesus Christ.

Because of the greatness of his heart in love for God and neighbor, Troy gave his life in service. He could say with the Apostle Paul, "I am in debt both to the Greeks and to Barbarians, both to the wise and the foolish." His deeds were the proof and the fruit of a fabulous faith in his Lord.

He was a charter member of the local Kiwanis Club; of the Cleburne Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons; an alderman on the city council since May, 1959; acted as City Judge when the occasion arose; and was acting Mayor Pro-tem at the time of his passing.

There survives him:
His widow, Trudie of Cleburne, one son, Dwight of Greenville, S. C., one brother, Finis J. Epperson of Cleburne, one sister, Mrs. Opal Coomer of Snyder, Texas, six grandchildren, nine great-grandchildren, and deep and abiding friends without number.

No better epitaph for James Troy Epperson could be written than the poem by Joseph Holland, entitled:


God give us men! Atime like this demands
Strong minds, great hearts, true faith, and ready hands;
Men whom the lust of office does not kill;
Men who the spoils of office cannot buy;
Men who possess opinions and a will;
Men who have honor -- men who will not lie;
Men who can stand before a demagogue,
And damn his treacherous flatteries without winking!
Tall men, sun-crowned, who live above the fog
In public duty, and in private thinking;
For while the rabble, with their thumb-worn creeds.
Their large professions and their little deeds, --
Mingle in selfish strife, lo! Freedom weeps,
Wrong rules the land, and wating Justice sleeps!