James David Revell

December 20,1932 — October 10, 2018

James David Revell was best known as “Mr. Jimmy” to many of his friends, colleagues, and former students, but to his family he was always just “Pawpaw”. Jimmy Revell passed away in peace on October 10, 2018 surrounded by the love of those he loved most. He was many things in his life, the best may be that he was a husband and father, teacher and farmer, hunter and fisher, believer and friend. He died just as he had lived, with a heart full of love, dressed in orange and blue and holding on to a strong faith in his lord and savior Jesus Christ.

Jimmy Revell was born on December 20, 1932 to his parents John Mansel and Vernel Revell. He was raised in Bristol, Florida where as a boy he developed his lifelong love of the outdoors especially hunting and fishing. The Revell family was a big one with many cousins, aunts, and uncles spread across Liberty County, but Jimmy was always closest to his sisters Gwendolyn and Tot.

Revell was a dynamite running back at Liberty County High School while under the coaching tutelage of head football coach Carlos Deason. He graduated early so he could go on to attend the University of Florida in Gainesville. Jimmy Revell was a member of the Alpha Gamma Rho fraternity at Florida and he graduated with a bachelor’s degree in agriculture. He proudly wore his University of Florida ring from the day he left campus until the day he left this life.

Jimmy Revell served his country with distinction as a drafted member of the United States Army. He was brought into the army during the years of the Korean conflict, but never fought in action. In the Army he was heralded for his superb marksmanship which was no doubt the product of many days in the deer woods of Liberty County. Upon exiting the Army, Revell took up a teaching position with Gadsden County Schools.

Armed with good looks, a strong work ethic, and a 1955 red Chevy Bel-air, Jimmy Revell’s days as a bachelor were short. He met a beautiful young lady from Havana, Florida while at a local basketball game and from that day forward his heart was hers. On June 18, 1959 Jimmy was wed to the love of his life, Shirley Nelson. Shirley Revell was his love and his life and for 59 years the two were inseparable. Jimmy Revell loved his wife with every ounce of his being. When he so often hummed and sang the songs of Frank Sinatra it was most certainly Shirley he was thinking of.

With his wife and partner at his side, Jimmy Revell built a family in Greensboro, Florida. In 1960 they welcomed a son and Jimmy named him after his father. Two years later they had a daughter and she was named for him. John and Jimmy Lynn were always his most proud accomplishment. As a family, they spent many days together at their hunting camp in the National Forrest as well as on the farm in Greensboro. Happiness, laughter, and love made for good ingredients from which to grow a family and the Revells eventually took in a foster child named Tracey who they have loved as their own.

Jimmy Revell taught hundreds of young men in his agriculture classes at Greensboro High School. He was always stern in his insistence that every young person invest their time and work in a proper education. Many a former student came to visit him regularly at his home even decades after graduating. He later became the Principal of the Greensboro school and started its football program. In 1975 the small town of Greensboro celebrated a class 1-A state championship in football which Jimmy was always proud to recall.

Jimmy Revell retired from the school system in 1984 and spent the rest of his full life focused on his farm, hunting and fishing, and of course his family which was beginning to grow with grandchildren. Jimmy Revell was the patriarch of a family that included two grandsons from his son John, three grandsons from his daughter Jimmy Lynn, and a pair of children from his adopted daughter Tracey. One of the great joys of Jimmy Revell’s life was spending time with his grandchildren. There were too many sleepovers, gator games, and outdoor outings to count and watching his family grow and prosper were always his most precious memories. He became a great grandfather when Winnie Revell was born in 2018 and she always provided a special twinkle in his eye.

Jimmy Revell loved a hard days work. He toiled on his farm where he raised world class hunting beagles, cows, horses, chickens, and numerous crops. He was handy with any tool imaginable and he built decks, docks, and homes for and with his family and friends.

Jimmy Revell loved the outdoors and there were few days during deer season which he wasn’t in the woods. He hunted with his champion beagles and alongside his former football coach and old friend Carlos Deason. He also cherished his lake-house where he fished his days away alongside his love and bride Shirley. In all those days in the woods and all those evenings on the lake dock, it was the company of those closest to him that he sought more than the bounty of his pursuits.

In his final years, Jimmy Revell was always at peace knowing that his lord and savior would someday call him home to be with those family and friends that had gone before him. He was delighted to have the embrace of his wife, the presence of his children, and the smiles of his many grandchildren around him often. He never stopped being the man he always was; committed to doing right, eager to work hard, and believing that God and his family mattered most.

When James David Revell passed away, he did so in the arms of the woman he loved for 59 years. He left her and his family for a seat at the hand of the lord. His memory will live on in the hearts of his loved ones and his body will always lie close to the land he loved so much.

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Jay Revell

Golf scribe. Recovering Country Club President. Husband to Sarah & father to Winnie.