YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (MyValleyTributes) – James Liggens, a beloved husband, father, grandfather and friend, peacefully passed away on Saturday, October 7, 2023, surrounded by his family at Mercy Health Medical Center.
He was born on May 5, 1940, in Youngstown, Ohio, to the union of the late Mr. Willie and Mrs. Haddie Adams-Liggens. James was known by family and friends as “Churchie” which was the childhood nickname given to him by his uncle.
James proudly served his country in the United States Army, where he devoted his time and efforts to uphold the values he held dear.
After completing his service, he embarked on a successful career in the automobile manufacturing and assembly industry. He was called “Cruise Control” by his coworkers for his laid-back demeanor. He spent many dedicated years at General Motors before retiring, leaving behind a legacy of hard work and expertise.
Throughout his life, James touched the hearts of those around him through his extraordinary kindness, unwavering love and immense wisdom underneath his seemingly guff exterior. He approached life in a matter-of-fact manner. He was very comfortable in his home, enjoying his easy chair and observing the happenings within the neighborhood from the view of his porch.
Outside of his professional achievements, Churchie was an avid fan of the Raiders football team. His passion for the sport was contagious and he always found joy in watching games and discussing the latest plays with those who would listen. His love for the Raiders mirrored his affinity for life, as he embraced every moment with a zest for adventure and a playful sense of humor.
James’ warm heart and genuine love for his family were his defining qualities. He is survived by his devoted wife, Phyllis M. Liggens, who stood by his side, sharing a love that withered neither time nor distance. Together, they created a beautiful family, raising their children, Ernest Douglas Meadows, Faynell Wallace and Pastor Kevin (Wanda) Meadows, with values of compassion, respect, faith and determination.
Churchie was a doting grandfather to his cherished 12 grandchildren, 22 great-grandchildren and one great-great-grandson. He also leaves seven sisters-in love and two brothers-in-love. He was also a beloved uncle to a score of nieces and nephews.
Greeting him at the gates of Heaven were his parents; siblings, Willie Liggens, Jr., Jean Hawthorne, Helen Wigfall, Thelma Houser, Ruthie Mae Glanton and Ted Glanton; daughter, Beverly Liggens and granddaughter, Tallisha Barlow.
As we mourn the loss of Churchie, we find solace in the memories we shared and the lessons he taught us. His kindness, wisdom and ability to see the best in everyone will never be forgotten. He leaves behind a legacy of love and inspiration that will continue to guide us on our journey.
The Liggens’ family wishes to thank the community for the intentional acts of love and outpouring of kindness which has been extended during this time. The family has been sustained by the compassionate ministries of prayer, peace and presence during this time of great loss.
Words cannot express the depth of loss we feel but we take comfort in knowing that James’ spirit lives on in our hearts forever. Hebrews 6:10 declares in part, “For God is not unrighteous to forget your work and labor of love, which you have shown toward His name, in that you have ministered to the saints.” May you be richly and exceedingly blessed!
A celebration of James’ life will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Wednesday, October 18, 2023, at the Jaylex Event Center, 2110 Glenwood Avenue, with military honors. Rev. Lewis W. Macklin II will be the officiant and celebrant. Calling hours will be held one hour prior to the service, 10:00 – 11:00 a.m.
The Liggens Family entrusted J.E. Washington Funeral Services, 2234 Glenwood Avenue, Youngstown, Ohio, with the ministry of comfort and transitional care arrangements.
A television tribute will air Friday, October 13 at the following approximate times: 7:10 a.m. on FOX, 12:22 p.m. on WKBN, 5:08 p.m. on MyYTV and 7:27 p.m. on WYTV. Video will be posted here the day of airing.