A celebration in song for the life of Jimmy Ray Harbour will be at 11 a.m. Monday, May 12, 2014, at the First Baptist Church of Ringling, Okla., where he lived all of his adult life. Jim left this life to begin his heavenly journey on May 5, 2014, surrounded by a host of his family and friends who were blessed to be able to sing his beloved songs to him as he departed.
Jim was born Oct. 29, 1945, in Waurika, Okla., to Howard W. and Christene L. (Faulkner) Harbour. He learned at an early age to accept and overcome physical limitations. He met each adversity head on with a spirit of humor, love, grace and humility.
He began his education at Fox Elementary School in 1952 and attended junior high and high school in Ringling where he graduated with the class of 1963 who lovingly called him “Shrimp”. Jim’s musical talents surfaced at an early age. He competed in numerous contests throughout his high school career winning many honors.
Upon graduation, Jim attended Southeastern Oklahoma State College in Durant, Okla., majoring in vocal music. He was a member of the Show Choir and traveled throughout the United States. One of Jim’s greatest loves was singing around the piano with his family and singing with his “choir family” at the First Baptist Church where he was a member.
After suffering a health crisis, Jim’s world became smaller and more confined, but his influence and heart continued to have far-reaching effects on all who were fortunate enough to cross paths with him. If he knew you, you had a nickname, a regular “just checking on you” phone call, a Never forgotten birthday call and a shared bit of his wonderful unique humor.
Even while suffering his own physical pain, he endeared himself to all the nurses, caretakers and family. He never complained and always showed his appreciation. Many who visited Jim with intentions of cheering him were amazed that the opposite happened and he had in fact uplifted them with his smile, his attitude and his never-ending faith.
Jim was preceded in death by his father, Howard W. Harbour; and his stepfather, Gilbert V. Apala. Also preceding Jim was Allie Ayers, an aunt and traveling buddy, with whom he shared a very special relationship.
He is survived by his mother, Christene Harbour Apala; two brothers, Foy Harbour and Ronnie Harbour; and three sisters, Patricia Yoakum, Anna Kay McGowan and Tammy Bobst.
Having never married, he loved his nieces and nephews as his own children. Blessed to call Jim uncle (Trigger) were Mikinzie Price, Jackson Bobst, Chris McGowan, Leisha Masters, Desiree Buck and Rhonda Norman. Also surviving him were four special cousins, Donna Butler, Pam Bell, Lauren Gandy and Nikki McGahey.
Serving as pallbearers will be Brett Price, Barrett Butler, James Bell, Chris McGowan, Don Pogue and Randy Raines.
Serving as honorary bearers will be Jim’s First Baptist Church Men’s Sunday School Class and the Ringling High School Class of 1963.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Jimmy Harbour Memorial fund at the First National Bank in Ringling or the C-Sara Foundation of Ardmore.
True to his appreciative heart, Jim’s family would like to give a special thanks to his caregivers and friends of Cross Timbers Hospice. Thank you Tina, Regina and Brenda. Dr. Reed, your unwavering care which gave us that extra time with our Jim will never be forgotten.
Visitation will be 6-8 Saturday evening at the Alexander Funeral Home of Ringling.
Condolences may be shared online at www.alexanderfuneralhome.org.