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Heritage Chapel Funeral Home

5200 Old Birmingham Hwy, Tuscaloosa, AL

OBITUARY

James Darwin Justiss

August 16, 1936May 21, 2019

TUSCALOOSA - James Darwin Justiss, age 82, passed away on May 21, 2019, doing what he loved best - tending to his very unique garden at his home. His family's hearts are full in knowing that he stepped from his backyard garden into the Heavenly Garden that God had prepared for him. Celebration of Life Service will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, May 25, 2019, at Heritage Chapel, with visitation beginning at 10:00 a.m. Dr. Tim Lovett will be officiating and Heritage Chapel Funeral Home & Cremations, a Dignity Memorial Provider, directing.

Darwin was preceded in death by his parents, Walter Amos and Ethel Curington Justiss; his sister, WyNell Justiss Massengill; and two brothers, Walter Amos Justiss, Jr. and Mckay Justiss.

He leaves behind his wife of 36 years, Brenda Berryhill Justiss; his sons, Brian Justiss and Clay Justiss of Tuscaloosa; three grandchildren, John Justiss, Julia Justiss, and Ryan Justiss; and one great-grandson, Jaxon, who quickly became the light of his life.

Darwin was an outstanding athlete at Marianna (Florida) High School. He attended Florida State University, where he excelled on the dive team and in gymnastics. He was also a member of Kappa Alpha Fraternity while at FSU. He established a successful career as a swimming and diving coach in Texas and was recruited by the Montgomery YMCA to develop their swim team. In 1966, he was hired to establish a swim team in Tuscaloosa at the Queen City Pool. In 1968, he joined Gulf States Paper Corporation (North River Yacht Club), where he remained in resort management until retirement.

Pallbearers will be John Justiss, Ryan Justiss, Damian Johnson and Bob Cleere.

Honorary pallbearers are Dr. Steve Lovelady and staff, the Evans-Garner Sunday School Class at Calvary Baptist Church, Marianna High School Class of 1954, Former Employees of NorthRiver Yacht Club, and Employees of West Coast Customs.

In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the Acts 1:8 Ministry or the S. D. Allen Ministry at Calvary Baptist Church or Big Oak Ranch.

Condolences may be offered at www.HeritageChapelTuscaloosa.com.

  • FAMILY

  • He leaves behind his wife of 36 years, Brenda Berryhill Justiss; his sons, Brian Justiss and Clay Justiss of Tuscaloosa; three grandchildren, John Justiss, Julia Justiss, and Ryan Justiss; and one great-grandson, Jaxon, who quickly became the light of his life.
  • PALLBEARERS

  • John Justiss
  • Ryan Justiss
  • Damian Johnson
  • Bob Cleere

Services

  • Visitation Saturday, May 25, 2019
  • Celebration of Life Service Saturday, May 25, 2019

Memories

James Darwin Justiss

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Keith Massengill

May 23, 2019

Uncle "Dawin" as his Marianna and Massengill family would call him , was the type of uncle all men could hope for. Even before he started his own family, Dawin would visit Marianna or Beacon Hill (Florida) during the holidays or during the summer just to spend time with us. His love for anything doing with aquatics was certainly shared with us growing up (Blue Springs or the Gulf of Mexico). He gave us our first 2-man life raft to use in our various adventures at the beach. One summer he showed us how to transform our beach cottage parking garage into a kids clubhouse using palm tree fronds.
Uncle Dawin was a sports enthusiast! His love for his Seminoles and Crimson Tide teams was on his clothing and his residence. I hope Uncle Dawin forgives me for having to share the backseat car ride home after the 1994 "Choke at Doak" Florida-FSU game. I was the sulking Gator fan and he was the quiet, consoling Seminole fan.
In 1978, Uncle Dawin hired me to work at NorthRiver Yacht Club during my summer away from the University of West Florida. This experience helped solidify my career choice. We both would spend the majority of our adult lives working in hospitality/resorts/clubs.
I had the honor of serving as his "best man" at the Tuscaloosa NorthRiver intimate wedding ceremony to my wonderful Aunt, Brenda.
Through the years, Dawin was only a phone call away when I needed to reach out to him. Both our families had medical issues that were similar and he shared wonderful advice and provided a listening ear.
The good Lord knew what he was doing when he placed James Darwin Justiss on this earth. His family and friends know he left it a better place. Love always, your nephew Keith.

FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY