After 71 years of marriage, Dawsonville resident Rev. James “Palmour” Loggins, 94, died at his home on Jan. 3, followed by his beloved wife Doris Hulsey Loggins, 87, the following day.
They leave behind a legacy of love for each other, their family and their communities.
In their house, they kept a written ode to previous years, which described their coming of age in a time before conveniences including penicillin, credit cards, youth and elder care, word processors, ballpoint pens or microwaves.
James met Doris in late 1949, and their first date was to church at Dewberry no. 2 in Hall County.
“It was love at first sight. I thought she was the most beautiful girl I had ever saw! I still do! Our romance began and has continued to bloom in the sweet fragrance of life to this day,” James wrote.
The couple wed on Oct. 18, 1950 at the home of Hoke Smith, a justice of the peace, in Hall County.
Their first home only cost $15 a month to rent. Meanwhile, James worked at a sawmill in Hall County for $28 a week. Back then, that was enough money to pay for rent, groceries and firewood.
They welcomed their first child, Diane, in 1951, followed by Melvin, Connie, Ray, Weba and youngest child Emmanueal in 1968.
After becoming a Christian in 1962 and being called to preach, James worked in ministry for most of his married years. The first church he pastored in Fairmont was known as the “Flexible Non-Denominational Church.” He was ordained through the Pentecostal Evangelistic Association.
James served as senior pastor at the Bethel Tabernacle in Gainesville for about 30 years through the 1990s and served as an associate pastor there until his death.
“My grandpa would still occasionally preach at churches up until the past year,” said grandson Jeremy Austin.
James also worked as a general handyman for the Dawson County School District, from which he retired in the late 1990s after working there for over 20 years.
“Anything maintenance or janitorial-related, he did all of that for the schools in the county,” Austin said.
Most of the time, James worked on the high school campus fixing whatever was needed there.
The late Rev. Loggins had a mantra that “Jesus could fix anything that’s broken, but a little duct tape will also fix things,” Austin recalled.
Meanwhile, Doris worked as a seamstress at the Hasco sewing factory for many years. Over the years, she took three mission trips to Haiti, one of which James attended.
After she retired, she offered in-home babysitting for area clients. Many of them worked as teachers in Dawson County’s schools.
Among others, Doris babysat Beth Covington, who now works as a Finance Executive Assistant for the school district. Covington said Doris looked after her from the time she was 18 months old until third or fourth grade.
Covington agreed with others’ observations that the Loggins’ union was “a love story like the movies.”
“She was like a grandmother. She loved you like you were her own and made sure you were taken care of,” Covington said.
She added that no matter how old she and other children who were babysat grew, Doris would still greet them in public and “love them like her own.”