In Memoriam: James Newton David

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    James Newton David (Poppie, Pops), 73, of Central, died on Sunday, April 23, 2017, on the feast of Divine Mercy in the hour of Jesus' death. The sweetest man God ever made was born in New Roads, graduated from Broadmoor High School, and in 1965 married his soul mate, Myrtle Jeanne (Jeannie) Ragusa David, at Our Lady of Mercy Catholic Church in Baton Rouge. Pops is survived by his wife of 51-years, Jeannie; and their three children: son Chad, his wife Amy, and their children Alec, Grace, Grant, Miles, and Lucy & Lauren Whittington; son Craig, his wife Dara, and their children Brelynn, Breanna and Brandt; and daughter Cristi David Nolen, her husband Shane, and their children Austin and Alli. He is also survived by his mother, Mildred Jarreau Smith; his sister Jeanette Felps, her husband Al, and their son Christopher; brother-in-laws and their wives Pete and Liz Ragusa, Phil and Peachy Ragusa, Ben and Patti Ragusa; and sister-in-law and her husband Angie and Leroy Cates, in addition to an enormous extended family. He is preceded in death by his father Newton Paul David. 
    Pops was a huge LSU sports fan. His Uncle Norman started taking him to Tiger Stadium back in the 1950s and he never stopped attending games, both home and away. He spent his whole life in the retail and grocery business. Twenty years ago, he and Jeannie opened their "Mom and Pop" store where he worked until the day he died, David's Tiger Express and the adjoining Dairy Queen, in Central. 
    Pops was so full of life. He was the heart of every party and made everyone happy. People who knew him well say his feet never stopped moving. That's because he loved to go dancing with Jeannie and their friends on the weekends. Pops dedicated his life to his family, all of the employees of his store, his customers, and his community – the city of Central. Some people called him the "Unofficial Mayor of Central" because he was so well loved, and he in turn loved and valued his customers. He was devastated to see the pain of the people of Central during the Great Flood of 2016, and he and Jeannie worked tirelessly at their store to feed everyone who needed a hot meal in the aftermath of that horrible disaster. Pops was also a 4th Degree member of Knights of Columbus, Msgr. Gassler Assembly No. 319. 
    Visitation was held on Tuesday, April 25, from 6-9 p.m., at Greenoaks Funeral Home, 9595 Florida Blvd., Baton Rouge. A visitation took place on Wednesday, April 26, from 9-10:30 a.m., at Our Lady of Mercy Catholic Church, 445 Marquette Ave., Baton Rouge, with a funeral mass directly after at 10:30 a.m. The celebrant was Father Miles Walsh. Pallbearers were: Ronnie Collette, Brandt David, Chad (Alec) David, Grant David, Shayne Gilbeau, Austin Nolen, Jeffrey Ragusa, and Al Whittington. Honorary Pallbearers were: Pat Crotty and Christopher Felps. In lieu of flowers, Jeannie asks that donations be made to St. Alphonsus Catholic Church, 14040 Greenwell Springs Rd., Greenwell Springs, LA 70739, with a note directing it to the recovering flood victims of Central. The family would like to offer a special thanks to Drs. Robyn Boedefeld and Gregory Fautheree, the RNs, and staff at Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center; Father Sam Maranto, and Father Miles Walsh.