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James Edwin Rounds
September 24, 1927 ~ May 17, 2023 (age 95) 95 Years Old
Memorial Services for James Edwin Rounds 95, of Boerne, Texas will be held Saturday, June 3, 2023, at 2pm in the Christ Episcopal Church with Father John Himes officiating. Light refreshments will follow in the Parish Hall. Interment will follow at Oakwood Cemetery for close family at 4pm. A time of visitation will be held Friday, June 2, 2023, from 5pm through 7pm in the Capt. Wm. Perry Chapel under the direction of Haggard Funeral Home.
James Edwin Rounds of Jefferson passed away peacefully on May 17, 2023, in Boerne, Texas at Franklin Park Assisted Living Center where he and his wife Frances Aimer Key Rounds had been living for the past 3 years. He retained his indomitable wit and appreciative musical ear to the end.
Jim was born September 24, 1927, in Shawnee, Oklahoma and is preceded in death by his parents Mary Perle Knotts Rounds and Charles Haddon Rounds, his brother Charles Rounds, and his first wife, JoAnn Bender Rounds. He is survived by his wife of almost 30 years, Frances Aimer Key Rounds and his children Georgianna Rounds Syal and husband Raj of The Woodlands, Texas and their children Kris and wife Chandler Syal and their son Richie of Jacksonville, Florida and Daniel and fiancé Chelsea Knipp of New Orleans, Louisiana and by son Jason Griffin Rounds and wife Becky of Farmington, New Mexico and their daughters Cate and Jane Rounds who currently attend college. His stepdaughter Amy Key Keith and her husband Fred of Boerne were a joy to Jim and a constant support during his time in Boerne. He was known as JJ to their children David, Will and Amelia. Jim is also survived by his sister Marilyn Watson of Napier New Zealand and numerous nieces and nephews who knew him as Uncle Jim.
Jim lived briefly in Fort Worth, Texas where his father worked for the Santa Fe Railroad but the family relocated to Roswell, New Mexico where he graduated from Roswell High School Class of 1945. He served stateside in the U.S. Army until the end of WWII and attended Texas Tech University. He left Texas Tech because he was needed at the Pecos Valley Cotton Compress in Rowell where he served as manager. During this time, Jim could be found exploring New Mexico caves including the only recently discovered Carlsbad Caverns where he was photographed for National Geographic Magazine or flying across New Mexico in a Cessna after receiving his pilot’s license. He loved racing his buddies in his Porsche coupe on the New Mexico roadways and shared many UFO related stories from the famed Roswell area in the 1950’s. He was a fanatic about all things musical and loved Glen Miller and the Big Band sounds of the time. His love of all kinds of music including jazz, classical, big band and even a little Bob Wills and the Texas Playboys would define him and was a love he shared joyously with many throughout his years. He could also “Cut a Rug”!
Jim’s playboy years came to an end when he met schoolteacher JoAnn Bender. They married in 1960 and raised their children in Roswell until the cotton business took the family to Harlingen, Texas and then to Galveston. Jim and JoAnn retired to Jefferson and after her death in 1987, Jim married his second wife Suzanne Benefield. Jim and Fran Aimer Key married in 1993 and in the tight knit Jefferson community all 3 of these families were well acquainted and their respective descendants have blended friendships which have endured. The Benders, Gleasons, Benefields, Keys and Aimer clans have all been family. Jim loved Jefferson and once said he never worked harder than he did after retirement. He worked tirelessly to maintain the Bender homestead until its sale and then the historic Key Homestead of Bluebonnet Farm listed in the Texas Registry of Historic Homes. He was once seen sporting mountain climbing gear attached to the chimney at Bluebonnet Farm to add a coat of paint to the metal roof.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Shreveport Symphony or to Christ Episcopal Church of Jefferson, Texas.