James George ‘Jim’ Vallas, 70, of Crossett passed away on December 19, 2021, at his home.
Jim was born in Natchez, Mississippi on January 13, 1951, to George Vallas and Loraine Haygood Vallas.
He spent his early childhood in Enterprise, Louisiana in Catahoula Parish where he learned to love the outdoors and nature with his many cousins, aunts, uncles, and grandparents, including riding on the school bus ferry with his ‘Paw’’, John W Haygood. In his preteen years, Jim, his sister, Von, and mother Loraine moved to Crossett, for her job at Georgia Pacific, where he excelled at sports and learned the land he would hunt and fish for the next 50 years.
After high school, Jim attended Henderson State University in Arkadelphia for a short time before joining the US Air Force. He graduated basic training at Lackland AFB in San Antonio, Texas and was stationed in Denver, Colorado where he learned electrical and mechanics before being deployed to Germany for aerial photography on jets, which served as his platform for his 18-year career with Georgia Pacific as a general mechanic and millwright.
Jim met the love of his life, Emily Carter, in 1976. The couple wed December 22, 1978 and built a life in Crossett together over the last 44 years with six children and eight grandchildren.
Jim was preceded in death by his father, George James Vallas; mother, Alta Loraine Haygood Vallas; and grandparents, John W. and Julia Pat Booth Haygood.
He is survived by his loving wife, Emily Elizabeth Carter Vallas of Crossett; sister, Von Vallas of Hot Springs; half sister, Georgeanne Vallas Hosemann of Birmingham; son, Justin Vallas and wife Amanda Pruss Vallas of North Little Rock and their six children, Jordan, Javen, Rose, Grace, Jacob, and Jaxon; daughter, Jenny Vallas of Conway; daughter, Joy Vallas of Conway; son, John Vallas and wife Ashley Traylor Vallas of Bauxite and their two children, Mercy and Jett; daughter, Jovon Vallas Cave and husband Alex Cave of Sherwood; and son, Jesse Vallas of Benton.
Jim had a reputation as an avid sportsman, always plotting the perfect plan for hunting whitetail bucks and mallards and fishing for bass, crappie, and bream. He loved watching college football and basketball, and was quick to coach on throwing the perfect spiral pass and 3-point shot. He loved old westerns and collected Buck knives as well as vintage bait and tackle.
Jim was the ultimate handyman and enjoyed working on automobiles. He was highly competitive in all things and sought mastery of his many interests. He was passionate about doing things his way and never met a stranger. Jim loved the Lord. He was a storyteller, a teacher, a good neighbor, and best of all, a Grampy.
Visitation will be held Thursday, December 23, at 12:30 p.m. at Medders Funeral Home in North Crossett. A graveside service will be held Thursday at 2 p.m. at Pinewood Memorial Park under the direction of Medders Funeral Home.