James Earl McNealy was born on December 10, 1958, to the union of Newton “NT” and Gladys McNealy in Natchez, MS. He was the youngest of six siblings and quietly lived his life as the baby of the family.
James accepted Christ at an early age and was baptized at St. Paul A.M.E. Church. James received his formal education at Adams County schools, and after his graduation from North Natchez High School, he studied auto mechanics at Copiah Lincoln Community College. He returned with his certification to work at Armstrong Tire and Rubber, and later at Wilson Auto. As a teenager, James, affectionately known as Earl, discovered the lifelong love of his life, auto racing and mechanics. As an avid racing enthusiast, he built and drove many racecars as he forged strong, long-lasting friendships in the pits and on the starting lines at Yellow Belly and other tracks around the state.
James married Doris King in 1986, and they later moved to Dallas, TX. To this union were born two daughters, Jermona and Jelisa. When their marriage ended, James later married Yolanda Dorsey, and to that union, his youngest daughter, Semaj was born.
James departed this life Saturday, May 12, 2018, after an extended battle with heart disease. He was preceded in death by his parents, Newton and Gladys McNealy, and his sister, Beatrice McNealy.
James will be lovingly remembered by his children, daughters, Courtney King Christopher, Jermona McNealy, Jelisa McNealy, and Sema’J McNealy (all from Dallas), and his son, Luke Rogers (Natchez, MS). James will also be fondly remembered by his grandchildren, Javion (J.J.) Minor, Kendrick (K.J.) Tolbert, Tony (T.J.) Holmes, and Kaydon Noble, Jerrione Christopher, Mackenzie Palacios, Braylon Palacios, Bailey Shoels, Riley Rogers and Zyan Rogers; his sisters, Mildred Holeyfield (Chicago) and Mary Smith (Dallas); his brothers, Newton McNealy, Jr., (Gonzales, LA) and Carl McNealy (Natchez, MS). He also leaves to mourn: aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, cousins, and his “brothers by another mother”, Tucker, Cedric and Kenny, in addition to all his racing buddies and friends.