Helping Families and Friends Honor Their Loved One

Lamar Scurlock James, age 73

Lamar Scurlock James, born February 3rd, 1947, parted this earth to be with Jesus on January 10th, 2021. He was born to Arthur Sinclair James and Fay Scurlock in Malvern.

Lamar retired from the University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service and previously the Arkansas Gazette. He graduated from Ouachita Baptist University with a double major in Political Science and Journalism. He was a notable Arkansas Gazette reporter and columnist for many years.

Lamar was preceded in death by his father, mother, and an infant son, Joshua. Lamar is survived by his wife of 35 years, Debbie James, of Jacksonville. He is also survived by his siblings: Herbert and Diane James, Carolyn Cooper, and Janet Tugwell all of Malvern; four children: Amanda (Mandi) McDermott of Haskell, Jeff and Mary Ann Reynolds of Garner, NC, Shawn and Amy Blair of Ward, Shannon and Laura Saunders of Melissa, TX; ten grandchildren and a host of nieces and nephews who Lamar adored.

Lamar was a self-proclaimed classic “nerd” who was always the jokester and comedian of any group. He loved music, photography (where he won an international award), gadgets, the five fingers of death, sweet tea, peanuts, and anything sci-fi. He had a ginormous heart for animals and would always carry extra pet food under the seat of his car in case he came across a stray. It was a family tradition for Lamar to jump in the freezing swimming pool every Thanksgiving! If you are reading this, there is a big chance that he took your picture at some point. To quote Lamar, “Live Long and Prosper!”

Lamar’s family is requesting in lieu of flowers, all donations be made to to help the family with funeral expenses.

Arrangements are entrusted to A Natural State Funeral Service, 2620 West Main Street, Jacksonville, Arkansas.  501-982-3400


  • Wanda Millsaps Posted January 12, 2021 7:38 PM

    My deepest condolences for the loss of Lamar. Prayers for comfort to Debbie and all of the family as you go through this difficult time.

  • Steve Bsllard Posted January 12, 2021 7:43 PM

    Yes that was our swimming pool/hot tub afterwards!🦃At Thanksgiving!

  • Dale Mitchell Posted January 12, 2021 8:56 PM

    Debbie our hearts hurt by the loss of our dear friend Lamar, we send prayers as well as our love to you and your family. We are here if you need anything, and asking God to send the Holy Spirit to comfort you all. Dale& Ginger

  • Bill and Brenda Livingston Posted January 12, 2021 9:12 PM

    Debbie, please know we are praying for you and your family. It was so good to visit with you and Lamar at the 70th birthday get together in Hot Springs. God bless you and give you comfort and strength . love, Bill and Brenda

  • Sharon Franke Posted January 12, 2021 9:44 PM

    Please accept my sincere condolences. So sorry for your loss.

  • Dorothy Hall Posted January 13, 2021 9:00 AM

    I’m so sorry for your loss. I enjoyed working with Lamar for years at Cooperative Extension. Sending hugs to your family during this time.

  • Mike Hamilton Posted January 13, 2021 9:34 AM

    Lamar was a great Friend.

  • Bill Russell Posted January 13, 2021 11:25 AM

    Debbie, This saddens my heart so deeply. A true loss for humanity. A man with a true heart for social justice and a sharp and eloquent wit. Some of the most gratifying and happy moments of my life were during the 17 years I worked with Lamar. My, how he loved his family and I am so sorry for each of you……somehow I feel lonelier today..

  • Bob Reynolds Posted January 13, 2021 12:13 PM

    Debbie, I am so terribly sorry for your loss. The world has lost a wonder, kind man. Our thoughts are with you.

  • Lanny Ashlock Posted January 13, 2021 1:30 PM

    Sincere condolences to Lamar’s family. Really enjoyed working with Lamar while we were both employed by the University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service.. He was a true professional journalist and a very fine gentlemen. He made us better for being around him.

  • Sara and Mike Ley Posted January 13, 2021 1:39 PM

    We met Lamar because of Em and Scott’s wedding and It didn’t take long to learn why he was such a special friend and “uncle”. We had heard stories about Lamar and each time there was a smile on the faces of the storyteller. We are grateful to have met you two and regretful it wasn’t sooner. You have our sympathy and prayers.

  • Jerry Dean Posted January 13, 2021 2:49 PM

    Was my honor and pleasure, as a Gazette writer, to work many a weekend night with Lamar who so capably handled news gleaned from tips on his police scanner. Having worked years for the rival paper, I did not fully comprehend Lamar’s skills and ability until I saw him in action the night of Sept. 18, 1980. On that date, a mishap exploded liquid fuel from a USAF Titan II ICBM in an underground silo 374-7 near Damascus. The incident could have triggered a 9-megaton nuclear disaster! I saw Lamar leap into action and prepare a brilliant breaking news story for Gazette Sept. 19 editions. Lamar proved not only a capable journalist, but also a good friend, always with a ready joke to amuse me and our entire newsroom. Retired now, I look back fondly on a 40-year news career. As I share his family’s grief, I also list my talented friend Lamar among the best of many gifted journalists whom I was privileged to work alongside!

    • Dave Edmark Posted January 14, 2021 8:09 AM

      I was also in the Gazette newsroom the night the Titan missile blew up. Lamar knew instinctively how to handle the crisis. He showed me plenty during my couple of years there. Then about 15 years later we were sort of reunited at the UA Division of Agriculture communications unit with Lamar in Little Rock and me in Fayetteville. He was a great fellow.

  • Madison Shambarger Posted January 13, 2021 5:42 PM

    Lamar was my friend when we were young. I haven’t seen him in many years but I have thought of him and I will miss him.

  • Shannon (Tripcony) Miller Posted January 13, 2021 8:08 PM

    Debbie, I am so so sorry. Lamar was such a great person. I always knew he was looking out for me even as a small child. Love to you and the rest of the family.

  • Janet Hardin Posted January 14, 2021 6:31 AM

    Lamar was a one of a kind gentleman. Kind, funny, sincere…. he had all the qualities you look for in someone who just makes the world a better place by being it. We are truly lucky and blessed for having known him. His family will have memories of all his antics and kindnesses to fill their lifetimes. Praying for Debbie and the kids. I know you were his pride and joy.

  • Marilyn Green Coy Posted January 14, 2021 6:58 AM

    Sending my most sincere condolences on the loss of Lamar. Having known him since we were in high school together I have many memories of him. It was so good to see him and Debbie at our 70th birthday party a couple of years back. As always he was so interesting to listen and talk to. Very Gifted Man.

  • Eddie Smith Posted January 14, 2021 8:48 AM

    Lamar will be missed by many people. He was a kind, funny, heartwarming person. I’m honored that I got the chance to know him and call him my friend. Rest In Peace Lamar. I know you are in a much better place now.

  • Donald Plunkett Posted January 14, 2021 5:43 PM

    Miss Debbie and Lamar’s children and extended family: when I worked at the LR office of UA CES I often did news stories with Lamar. At times we went “to the field” for him to get a good understanding of what the story should be. Boy we had fun and he’d write a good story. He and I often got into deep discussions. I remember when he told me he was going to retire and about health problems I was unaware of. We lost a good friend to many of us at Cooperative Extension. I pray you and the family will be comforted by the Holy Spirit as you go through this time of mourning.

  • Dale Ridgway Posted January 16, 2021 7:36 PM

    I was lucky enough to have worked with Lamar at the Pine Bluff Commercial, before his Gazette days, and his quick wit and astute observations on the sometimes absurd aspects of the job marked him as an exceptional individual, fun to be around and almost mesmerizing in his accounts of what could have been boring or lackluster events. This was when his family was just Lamar and the woman he adored, but there could be little doubt that he would make a great parent/grandparent. Many are the souls who will miss him.

  • John Payne Posted January 24, 2021 10:44 PM

    Lamar was a great friend and co-worker. He was very helpful to me and a great journalist. He had wonderful humor and was a tremendous asset to the Extension organization. My condolences go out to all the family. John Payne

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