James C. Potter, Jr.

August 15, 1941 - November 30, 2022

James Cornelius Potter, Jr. was born to Mary Ida “Mary Jo” and James C. Potter, Sr. in Beaumont, Texas on August 15, 1941 and passed away peacfully on November 30, 2022 surrounded by his wife and children.

James was preceded in death by his parents, and brothers, Earl Cullen Potter and Haden Kelly Potter; sisters, Peggy Joyce Potter and Lela Potter Williams. He is survived by his wife of 55 years, Lula Langham Potter; son, Watson Finley Potter, wife Kate, and their children Jackson Finley Potter, Benjamin Douglas Potter, and Claire Catherine Potter; daughter Lula Paige Potter Ridout, husband, Steven Rogers Ridout, Sr., and their children Steven Rogers Ridout, Jr., John Dandridge Ridout, and Lula Elodie Ridout; son, James Cornelius Potter, III “Neil”, wife, Macari and their children Kendall Macari Potter, Mary Langham Potter, and James Cornelius Potter, IV; sisters, JoAnn Potter Alexander,  Margaret Potter Meaux, and Dottie Potter Braren; and brother, Donnie Potter, as well as many neices, nephews, great neices, great nephews, and countless life long friends.

James grew up in Beaumont, graduated from South Park High School in 1959 continuing his education at Lamar State College of Technology graduating in 1965.  As a member of the Sigma Nu fraternity, Potter was the life of the party even then.

In May 1967, James married the love of his life, Lula Langham.  Lula and Potter built a life of 55 years together in Beaumont, raising their three children: Watson, Paige, and Neil.

Through Potter Construction he and brother Haden, built homes throughout the community.  His first professional career began as a school teacher in the public school system where he later served on the Board of Beaumont ISD and the Board of Monsignor Kelly High School. Continuing the family tradition, Potter served as a Neches River Festival Knight for over 54 years. In 1978 he was the 30th President, and seven years later was crowned King Neches XXXVII.  Committed to education and service to others, Potter served his community through mutliple civic organization to include St. Anthony’s Cathedral Basilica and a member of the Board of Directors on the McFaddin Ward House.  Potter devoted over 40 years of service to the BC Hebert Heir families, SBI Management, the Beaumont Rice Mill, and H& L Farms.

He found peace in marshland sunrises and beauty in Hill Country sunsets, where family time was sacred. ‘Potter Porch Time’ was always open to loved ones of any age.

He was strong in faith, family, and education. Potter was larger than life in stature and in heart, with a handshake that delivered an unspoken and reliable bond.

Our friend Potter made life a joy with a boisterious laugh and incredible sense of humor. He was a genuine advisor and fierce protector to so many more than his three children.  He cared.  He listened. He loved.

A Christian Vigil for Potter will be at 5:00 p.m., with a gathering of family and friends to follow until 7:00 p.m., Sunday, December 4, 2022, at Broussard’s. (2000 McFaddin Avenue, Beaumont)

A Mass of Christian Burial and celebration of life at 11:00 a.m., Monday, December 5, 2022, at St. Anthony Cathedral Basilica, (700 Jefferson Street, Beaumont).

Internment to follow at Magnolia Cemetery, Beaumont. The family requests that memorial contributions be made in his memory to St. Anthony Cathedral Basilica School, designated academic gift, 850 Forsythe Street, Beaumont, Texas 77701.



Christian Vigil

Broussard’s Mortuary McFaddin Ave.
  • 2000, Mcfaddin Avenue, Beaumont, Texas, 77701,
  • December 4, 2022
  • 5:00 pm - 5:30 pm

Gathering of Family and Friends

Broussard’s Mortuary McFaddin Ave.
  • 2000, Mcfaddin Avenue, Beaumont, Texas, 77701,
  • December 4, 2022
  • 5:30 pm - 7:00 pm

Mass of Christian Burial

St. Anthony Cathedral Basilica
  • 700, Jefferson St, Beaumont, TX, 77701,
  • December 5, 2022
  • 11:00 am


Magnolia Cemetery
  • 2291, Pine St, Beaumont, TX, 77703,
  • December 5, 2022

Comments (24)

    Trey and Kala Barnard says:

    So sorry for your loss. Trey knew Mr. Potter growing up along side his grandfather Gene Tillery.

    Rusty Carlson says:

    I was so sad to hear this morning that Mr. Potter had passed away last week. I’ve had a lot of dealings with him over the last 25 years and you always knew when he told you something you could count on it.
    My thoughts and prayers are with his family as they deal with their loss.

    Gail Foreman says:

    I am so sorry for your loss. James has only come to me for a short time for his haircuts. I have totally enjoyed every minute of our time together he was a very special person. He made me laugh so much. I pray for all his family because he is a great loss for all of us. God bless you all.
    Gail Foreman

    Pat Johnson says:

    We remember him from Pine Forest Elementary. He was a gentle giant. A funny store, he had to tell my mother what he did. After school one day he threw his keys to my little brother (4th grade) and said Mike go get my car for me. And he said at that instant he got distracted and forgot what he had done. The next thing he knew here comes his car around the building. He said he nearly passed out. He could see his head trying to see over the dash and he thought ok somebody has taught him how to drive I just pray they taught him how to stop. He said Mike pulled his car up put it in park got out and handed him the keys. Everyone loved Mr. Potter. Prayers for your family.

    Sr. Bernadette Nguyen says:

    On behalf of the students and faculty at St. Anthony Cathedral Basilica School, we would like to express our deep sympathy to the Potter family. Although we did not have the honor and privilege to meet Mr. Potter, we give a heartfelt thank you for Mr. Potter and the entire Potter family’s generosity to our school children. Sincerely, Sr. Bernadette Nguyen (Principal).

    Mike Cacioppo says:


    So sorry for your family’s loss.

    Love and prayers,

    Mike Cacioppo

    Tommy Reeves (White Tire Supply) says:

    My absolute favorite man to do business with!
    He always shot straight and expected the same.
    His word was better than a contract!
    Prayers for his family and all that loved him.

    Georgia and Phil Dunlap says:

    Dear Lula,
    You and James raised a beautiful family together. God has blessed you both in many ways, but most of all with the gift of Family. Praying for you snd your “Children” and their children. Knowing James for 60+ years has been a blessing +.

    Peyton+Jones says:

    I am so deeply sorry for your loss.

    Charles Crim M.D. says:

    As a Dermatologist I saw Mr Potter fairly frequently. We usually visited more than I treated. Guess I should have paid him for coming in. Good memories.

    Carol hahn says:

    I remember James from Pine Forest Elementary in Vidor in the ’70’s. I was a first time teacher and he was such a wonderful force there. It was clear he loved being around elementary kids and they him. I haven’t seen or heard anything about him in years, but know he was loved by the people he was around!

    mary+beth+cloninger says:

    Lula, we grieve with you. Potter was so much fun at Lamar where we first got to know him at Sigma Nu gatherings. It delighted us when he married you because you are such a lovely, kind and gentle person. May you and the family be comforted with happy memories and the prayers of old friends. Mary Beth and Gerald

    Anita+Savino+Fournier says:

    Lula, so sorry for your loss. He was such a fine man who I haven’t seen in years, but have thought of you both so often. I moved to Austin from Wimberley a year ago. My thoughts are with you and your family.


    a man missed by many-remember many talks with hm.

    Margaret Bood says:

    Lula and children,

    So sorry for your loss. Such a good and kind family man. We shared many conversations and laughs together. He will be missed.

    Margaret Bood

    Daniel S Green says:

    Aunt Lula, Watson, Paige, and Neal,

    My prayers are with all of you. Uncle Potter was decidedly one of a kind …and decidedly a kind one at that. I need look no further than at you, his wonderful family, for evidence of his goodness. He will be missed.

    I am so sorry for your loss, and I will continue to pray with and for all of you.

    Peace in Christ,

    Danny Green

    Lilli Phelan Bean says:

    Lula, my thoughts and prayers are with you and your children. I’m sorry for your sadness.

    Tim McMurray says:

    The Potters were like a second family to me growing up. James always had great wisdom, promoted a family environment with he and Lula’s hospitality, and had an unmatched sense of humor. His Christian spirit has now been called home, and my prayers are with Lula, Watson, Paige, Neil and their families as they go through this transition.

    Drew Polk says:

    James always greeted me when bumped into him and with a smile as friends smile.

    Faye Bledsoe says:

    I remember James from school at South Park. He was a nice, friendly guy. I often wondered how he was, May he rest in peace. Faye Scarborough Bledsoe

    Lea and Jim Perlitz says:

    We are so saddened to hear the news of our dear friend James Potter! He was a wonderful husband , father and friend and truly one of a kind. Our deepest sympathy goes to his dear wife and children and grandchildren.

    With deepest sympathy,
    Lea and Jim Perlitz

    Margaret and James Gibson says:

    Our deepest condolences! He was a wonderful man and I know he left you all with wonderful memories.
    May God give you peace and strength to get through this sadness!
    With love
    Margaret and James Gibson

    Gene and Dottie Schulz says:

    May the angels welcome James into heaven.
    May James and St. Peter share a laugh at the golden gate. May James kneel at the feet of our Lord Jesus Christ…..until we all meet again.

    We have loved recalling all the wonderful times with the Potters when our families were young. Love to each if you. Dottie and Gene

    Earl+Hines says:

    Sad news!
    James and Lula were among the first to greet us, and were our earliest friends when we came to Beaumont in 1967.
    A life well lived!

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