James Stevens

James Stevens

James Wallace “Poss” Stevens, 89, of Waynesville passed away peacefully on Wednesday, Oct. 13, 2021, at his home.

Jim, affectionately known as Poss, was a native of Jackson County and the son of the late Spurgeon and Beulah Crawford Stephens. In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by four brothers and two sisters.

Poss began his career in education after graduating from Western Carolina University on a basketball scholarship. He was hired by Spalding Junior High, located in Charlotte, as both a teacher and coach. It was not long the mountains of Western North Carolina came calling him back home, and he accepted the position of principal at Waynesville Junior High, where he served for 12 years. After his time as a principal, Poss transitioned to the position of associate superintendent at the Central Office of the Haywood County School System. He served in this role for 12 years.

In addition to his time with the school system, Poss was also elected to the Haywood County Board of Commissioners, serving one term. He was also active on the Haywood Community College Board and the Haywood Regional Medical Center Board and instrumental in the envisioning of the international folk festival, Folkmoot. Poss was a dedicated servant to not only Haywood County but Western North Carolina as a whole. When he did have a spare moment, you could find him fishing his favorite fishing spot, Whitewater Falls, in Jackson County.

Poss is survived by his beloved wife of 59 years, Marilyn Stevens of Waynesville; two sons, Jim Stevens and his wife Amy of Waynesville and Barry Stevens and his wife Stephanie of Sylva; two sisters, Eloise Stephens of Cullowhee and Sue Thompson, of Waynesville; five grandchildren, Rachel Stevens, Brennah Stevens, Blake Stevens, Amber Cox and Paige Beam; and three great-grandchildren, Jaylen, Zoey and Kynlee.

A funeral service was held at 2 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 18, 2021, at Wells Funeral Home in Waynesville with Rev. Kent Lowdermilk officiating.

The family received friends from noon until 2 p.m. at the funeral home.

Burial followed the service at Garrett Hillcrest Memorial Park.

In lieu of flowers memorials may be made to the Firewood Ministry, P.O. Box 611, Waynesville, NC 28786.

The care of Mr. Stevens has been entrusted to Wells Funeral Home of Waynesville, and an online memorial register is available at “Obituaries” at www.wellsfuneralhome.com.