Mar 23rd 1936 - Apr 6th 2012
Through the life he lived each day, James Hastings taught us so many things, but perhaps the most valuable lesson is that true happiness is not found in what we have, but in what we give away. He was a gentle and humble man who encouraged others to be the best they could be each and every day. Jim was always available to help someone in need - usually without even being asked as he just had a sense about such things. When he loved, he loved deeply, and in his eyes there was no greater gift than the love shared among family. Although Jim will be deeply missed, his memory will remain forever near and dear to the hearts of all those within his reach.
The decade of the 1930s was a time that was cloaked in the hardship of the Great Depression. With an unemployment rate that soared above 25 percent, countless people were without work. To make matters worse, a crippling drought strangled an already struggling agricultural industry in our nation’s heartland, which left people doing whatever they could to weather the storm. Despite the circumstances around them, a young couple from Indianapolis, Indiana, was overjoyed to announce the birth of a healthy baby boy on March 23, 1936. James Macon was one of two boys born to his parents, Arnold Paul and Geneva (Moore) Hastings. He was raised in the family home alongside his brother, David Mark, and attended local schools. Not long after graduating from Avon High School Jim honorably served in the United States Army.
Life was forever changed for Jim when he met the young girl with whom he shared the best years of his life. Her name was Wilma Kappel, and they married in the early sixties. Together they were blessed with two children, Lene and Jim. To support his family Jim worked at General Motors for 25 years before retiring in 1991.
Even though his work played an important role in Jim’s life, there was nothing of greater significance to him than his family. On several occasions they traveled together with some of Jim’s most memorable destinations being Hawaii and Canada as well as a breathtaking Alaskan cruise. When his children married, Jim welcomed both his son-in-law and daughter-in-law with open arms, loving them as his own children. Although he loved being a father, being a grandfather just may have been the role of a lifetime for Jim, and his granddaughters were the apple of his eye. He loved playing cards with them, and it comes as no surprise that he was a gracious winner. With the choices he made each day Jim was an excellent role model for Rachel and Jennifer, and he instilled within their hearts the importance of always doing their best and being all they could be. At home was always Jim’s favorite place to be, although it came a close second to being anywhere with his family.
Throughout his life there were many things Jim enjoyed. As his friends and family can attest he was a talented woodworker who liked making all kinds of furniture including cabinets and tables among many other things. As a perfectionist everything he made was always superbly done. Throughout his life Jim loved traveling, and for several years he and Wilma wintered in Leesburg, Florida, where they enjoyed spending time with their many friends. He attended Life Line Baptist Church and was also a member of the National Rifle Association. When time allowed, Jim enjoyed boating and fishing, too.
All who knew Jim were blessed by his outstanding character. He was honest and loving, and someone who always carried himself with integrity. Jim was humble and thankful in a way that made him content in all things. No matter where he was or who he was with he always said, “Have a good day and a better tomorrow.” The greatest thing about his favorite phrase was that he truly meant it whether he was talking to friends, family, waiters or waitresses, or someone he just met. A man whose first thought was of others, Jim said that he just wanted a big hug when asked what he wanted for Christmas or a birthday.
Jim and his loved ones were given a tough pill to swallow when he was diagnosed with cancer. He bravely battled against the disease for several months, never letting the struggle steal his joy for living.
Although we would have loved more time with James Hastings, we know that this life is not all there is, and that we will be reunited with him one day. He was courageous and strong, yet gentle and tender at the same time. Jim’s life has been described as a life well done, and his love was genuine and true. A blessing in every way, he will be deeply missed and warmly remembered.
James Macon “Jim” Hastings died on April 6, 2012. Jim’s family includes his wife, Wilma (Kappel) Hastings; daughter, Lene (Steve) Davis of Indianapolis; son, Jim (Tracy) Hastings of Mooresville; brother, David Mark Hastings of Milton, Kentucky; and two granddaughters, Rachel and Jennifer Hastings. The funeral service will begin at 1 p.m., Tuesday, April 10, 2012, at Carlisle – Branson Funeral Service & Crematory, Mooresville, with calling there from 4 to 8 p.m., Monday, April 9, 2012. Entombment will be in Forest Lawn Memory Gardens, Greenwood. Please visit www.lifestorynet.com to share a favorite memory or to sign the online guest registry.