James “Jimmy” Boroughs, 90, went to be with the Lord July 6, 2020, in Canton. He was born Dec. 24, 1929 in Mart to Thomas and Don (Stewart) Boroughs. He graduated from Mart High School and was an offensive and defensive starter on the 1946 undefeated Mart Panther Regional Championship Football Team.
Jimmy graduated from The Agricultural and Mechanical College of Texas (later Texas A&M University) in 1951 where he was a proud member of the Corps of Cadets. He was a Company Commander his senior year. He always fondly remembered his time in the Corps of Cadets and the lifelong friends that he made there. He then served as an officer in the United States Air Force during the Korean War.
Jimmy married Marilyn Bishop in Gilmer in 1951. They enjoyed 69 years of devoted marriage and were blessed with the birth of four sons. He was a loving and supportive husband, father, grandfather, and great-grandfather. Jimmy and Marilyn moved to Canton in 1954, where they owned and operated the Ben Franklin Variety Store for 33 years on the town square. He later worked at the First National Bank of Canton as a customer service representative. Jimmy’s Christian faith was especially important to him and he was a devoted member of the First United Methodist Church in Canton where he served in several different positions on the Church Council, was Lay Leader and Sunday school teacher. Jimmy was a Mason. He was kind to all people and he never knew a stranger.
He was a supporter of youth sports in Canton on many levels including stints as a Little League baseball coach and served as president of the Canton Eagle Booster Club. He was an encouraging father and faithful attendee of his sons’ sporting events and supportive of their academic pursuits. Jimmy was an avid golfer and a passionate student of the game. He had respect for the history and etiquette of the game of golf that he passed on to his sons. He not only enjoyed the social and competitive nature of the game with his peers, but he devoted time to playing and teaching his sons the game along with their friends and other young golfers from the community. Jimmy was involved in the founding of the Van Zandt Country Club and was a longtime member and served on the board of directors during the early years of the club. He took an active interest in the development of the golf course at the club. His father was a railroad locomotive engineer and because of this, he had a lifelong passion for the railroad industry, its history, and for the people who worked for the railroad. He was a skilled craftsman in building, detailing and painting model railroad locomotives, which are treasured possessions of his sons. He enjoyed reading and learning about military and sports history. Jimmy was very loyal to his high school and college sports teams, especially football. He regularly attended Mart High School football playoff games across the state of Texas until he could no longer travel. Whether by radio, television, newspaper or in person, Jimmy enthusiastically followed the ups and downs of Texas A&M University football through the years.
Jimmy was a devoted grandfather, and his grand and great-grandchildren never doubted his love for them. They carry memories of his support, storytelling talent, playful nature, and perhaps most importantly, the lessons of a life well lived. These lessons will be carried through the generations by the example he set.
Jimmy is survived by his loving wife, Marilyn Boroughs; sons, Bryan and wife Diana Boroughs, Brad Boroughs, and Blake and wife Tracey Boroughs; grandchildren, Laura Beth Boroughs Haffner and husband Ryan, Benjamin and wife Mara Boroughs, Thomas Boroughs and Drew Boroughs; and two great-grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by his parents and son, Breck Boroughs.
The family would like to express special appreciation to Dr. J. W. Dailey of Canton for many years of devoted care of Jimmy. We would also express our gratitude to the staff of Canton Oaks and Autumn Wood Hospice Care for his care.
A Celebration of Life Service will be held at a later date. Memorials in Jimmy’s name may be given to the First United Methodist Church of Canton, the Van Zandt County Library or a charity of your choice.