In Loving Memory of
James "Jimmy" E. Poffinbarger III
March 5, 1971 - September 7, 2003
Jimmy on his wedding day, October 31, 1998. Halloween was one of his
favorite holidays, but we were still surprised
when he chose that day to get
married. He wanted to come in costume, but his bride wouldn’t go that far!
It was a small wedding, around 50 people. Jimmy catered it himself.
He did a
beautiful job and I was so proud of him.
Jimmy with his brother Mikey celebrating Nick’s second birthday in
This has always been a favorite picture of mine.
15 years ago, August 30, 2003, a date that I still remember like it was yesterday. I wrote this a few years ago, but didn't want to just share the memory. This day is always a tough one for me because it's the beginning of what changed mine and my family's life. No matter how hard you try, life will never be the "same" as it was before this day 15 years ago. Don't get me wrong, I've experienced so much and had a lot of great things happen to me in the last 15 years and I love the life I live. Certain things are just different once your brother is gone.
It was my only niece's 1st birthday. Her BIG first birthday party was going on at my parents' house, downstairs. I was heavy into dirt circle track racing with my dad. My modified was in the downstairs garage and I was working like crazy on it trying to get it ready to go to Savannah, MO that night. I missed out on most of the birthday party, but since it was just a room over, I could hear all of the fun they were having. I got the car ready and loaded up and most of the family headed up to Savannah. It was ridiculously hot outside. We hauled a little over an hour to get there to find out they had cancelled the races due to heat. My brother's youngest son was coming up to meet us at the races. Since that didn't happen, we all went out to eat in St. Joe.
My brother had just moved to Arkansas a few months prior. It was a tough time. We had our differences, but he was getting his life figured out and seemed like he was on a good path. However, that all changed on August 30, 2003, a little before midnight, when he left work from the restaurant. It was pouring down rain. He hydroplaned around a sharp corner and hit another vehicle head on.
I remember the phone call a little before 3:00 am from my parents. They told me to get ready, Jimmy had been in an accident, they would be there in 15 minutes to pick me and my ex-wife up. The emergency crew wanted to life flight him to Springfield, MO, but couldn't because the weather was so bad, so they had to bring him by ambulance. If we hurried, we would get to Springfield about the same time they got him there. My dad drove his ass off in one of the worst storms I can remember. How we got there so quick and with no issues, still amazes me.
My family was devastated. Two people from the other vehicle had died that night. Another one was in critical condition. My brother was fighting for his life as well. We lived in the hospital for days while Jimmy was fighting his battle. We had unbelievable support from family and friends.
Jimmy was in a coma. (drug enforced coma later on) There was never much communication with him after his accident. I was the first one that got any kind of communication out of him. I remember telling him that Frankenstein didn't have anything on him. That's when he barely raised his hand and flipped me off. I had never been so happy in my life to be flipped off. At that point, I just knew my big brother would be fine. However, I was wrong. He fought a lot of battles, but there was just too much damage to his body. He passed away on September 7, 2003.
Kind of ironic that 15 years to the day, I'm planning on going to another race track, but for dirt bikes this time. Not sure if we'll make it because it's been raining like crazy. For some reason, with me being old, fat and my first attempt to ride a dirt bike on a track in a mudfest, just doesn't sound like the smartest idea. We'll see how it goes this evening though.
Love you and miss you brother. Until we meet again.
Here we are again at the beginning of the end. It has been 15 years since your accident that changed us all forever...
I still wear your 'Forever in my Heart' bracelet all the time, but no one ever comments on it anymore. There are so many of them out there now for so many different causes and reasons, I think most people just ignore them. But this week, 2 different people have noticed yours and asked about the bracelet and you. It felt good to talk about you to someone other than family. Both were actually very interested in your story and your life even though they didn't know you or anything about you before, but now they do.
As I was looking for things to add, since there aren't any new photographs with you and there never will be, I ran across something Rose Kennedy said “It has been said, 'time heals all wounds.' I do not agree. The wounds remain. In time, the mind, protecting its sanity, covers them with scar tissue and the pain lessens. But it is never gone.” She is right, even after 15 long years, the pain of losing you has lessened, but it is never gone.
We don't see Nick or Eric very much; they both have their own busy lives and are doing very well. You would be very proud of both of them. We don't see Conrad much either, it is very difficult. We hope to see him this month for his birthday. Nick says he is progressing and doing well. Everyone else is doing well too and all busy with life.
Even though our lives are busy and it appears we have moved on without you; the wound remains, just with deep scar tissue to protect our minds, but not our hearts.
Our hearts are forever missing the piece that you took with you when you left 15 years ago. Our hearts are forever broken. We still miss you Jimmy.
You are forever in my heart,
FOREVER IN MY HEART
Right now I'm in a different place
And though we seem far apart
I'm closer than I ever was
I'm there inside your heart
I'm with you when you greet each day
And when the sun shines bright
I'm there to share the sunsets too
I'm with you every night
I'm with you when the times are good
To share a laugh or two
And if a tear should start to fall
I'll always be there for you
And when the day arrives
That we are no longer apart
I'll smile and hold you close to me
Forever in your heart
Jimmy and his mom.
Jimmy’s Final Story
Jimmy was struggling in his life and trying very hard to make some positive changes. He decided to make a move and start over, so he moved about 6 hours away.
He had been there about 6 months and was doing very well. He had a job at a local restaurant that he loved and he had started giving guitar lessons again.
He only had one student, but it was a start. He was also thinking of selling his home made salad dressings on the internet. When we packed up all of his stuff,
we found his recipes in a book he was reading. There weren’t any measurements, just the ingredients.
On August 30, 2003, our grand-daughters 1st birthday, Jimmy left work and headed the few miles to his home. It had been raining most of the day
and was still raining when he left. A policeman passed Jimmy going the other direction and said he was going way too fast so he turned around to go after him.
By the time he turned around the accident had already happened. Apparently Jimmy came to curve in the highway and was going too fast
to make the turn in the rain and crossed the center line just as another car was coming by. Jimmy hit them head on.
There were 5 people in that car. The driver and the front seat passenger died at the scene. One of the passengers in the back seat
was seriously injured, but survived. Two of the 3 people in the back seat were taken to the hospital and released later
with non life threatening injuries.
The police said it took them 40 minutes to cut Jimmy out of the car and that he was awake and talking to them.
They took him to the local hospital that immediately knew they could not handle his injuries. They attempted to stabilize him enough
to transport him to a larger facility 3 hours away. The problem at this point was that it was still storming so bad
that they couldn’t get a chopper up to life flight him. We found out right about this time. Jimmy’s dad called us
and all I remember is screaming and throwing the phone and Mike picking it up and talking to him. He said the doctors
didn’t think Jimmy could survive the ambulance transport, but that was his only chance. We called Mikey, picked him up
and started the 3 hours to the hospital. It was the longest 3 hours of my life. I don’t know how Mike got us there;
it was still storming like crazy. I couldn’t even see the road, but Mike just kept driving. When we got into the town
it was early in the morning and Mike was running all the stop lights to get us there as quick as possible.
When we got to the hospital, Jimmy was in surgery. We waited what seemed like days for the surgery to end
and learn what kind of shape Jimmy was in. From the beginning of this ordeal, the doctors never gave us any hope.
They said he wouldn’t make the transport to the hospital and then they didn’t think he would survive the surgery… but he survived both.
He went on to survive several more surgeries; they left his abdomen open and covered in something that looked like cellophane,
you could see his organs moving, it was very strange. When the nurse asked if we wanted to see it for the first time,
I said yes and my sister told me later that she moved behind me to catch me when I passed out.
But I didn’t, the whole situation was so unreal at that point that it didn’t really bother me.
After the first surgery the doctor came into talk to us and at first said he didn’t think I should go into see Jimmy
because of how bad he was. I basically told him there was no way in hell he was keeping me from seeing my son.
He looked at my husband, and he agreed with me and the doctor let us go in. The doctor didn’t give us any hope
now either…but we never gave up hope, we never thought he was dying;
we were planning how to get him into rehab and recovery.
Jimmy was on a vent and they were keeping him in a drug induced coma. A couple of times they would reduce the drugs
and bring him out of the coma to see if he could breathe on his own. One of the times
we were in the room and he opened his eyes and looked around. The nurse was talking to him to keep him calm.
He was trying to say something but we couldn’t understand him, finally we figured out he wanted a pencil and paper
so he could write to us. One of us held the paper and I held the pencil in his hand
and he wrote ‘head’. He had a pretty big cut on his forehead and I’m sure it hurt, so his brother looked at him
and said Frankenstein’s got nothing on you! Jimmy just lifted his hand and flipped him off.
It was the best thing I had seen in days!! Our hearts soared; we thought this was a definite sign
that he was going to be OK. We kept making plans to bring him home.
On the 8th day the doctor came into the waiting room and said that Jimmy had a hole in his heart valve
that they hadn’t found until then and there was no way for them to repair it at this point.
Jimmy’s blood pressure had dropped severely and they were keeping him alive with CPR. They asked what we wanted them to do
and we told them to stop the CPR and let him go. We went in and stayed with him;
he died within 30 minutes. We were in total shock…
This special gift for Angel Jimmy is from my friend Marie.
You can visit her website for her son Rob here ~Rob Northrop's Site.
I just read your 'final story' again and it all came back just like it happened yesterday, not 15 long years ago. It made me cry, as always, but still glad I read it. I don't very often, because it still hurts too much, even after all these years. But I had forgotten the real shock of you actually dying. As silly as it sounds, we really never thought that was a possibility. We thought since you communicated with us and seemed to know we were there the few times they woke you up, that it was just a matter of getting you stable and home and started healing. We never thought you would die. It did not cross my mind, regardless of anything around us, we never uttered the words and I never once thought it... maybe others did, I've never asked them. But reading the story again reminds me how really shocked we were. I think it is so horrible that your mind just won't let you go there until there is no choice. Even then I think your brain keeps you in that fog for a couple of years to try to protect your heart, but it doesn't work. Eventually you come out of the fog and your heart is still broken, never to heal, never to be the same again. Like mine still is now. I really miss you Jimmy.
Social media is a big deal these days, Facebook is the only one I use and that is just to keep up with the kids, grandkids, nieces, nephews and everyone else in the family. I love seeing all the families and how they have grown and keeping up with everyone. Anyway, Johnny posted an old picture of your High School band Stalker that Nancy took. When I first saw it my heart skipped a beat. Seeing a new picture of you, even from way back then, was like opening up a new memory. Seeing you and remembering your long curly hair that I helped you perm and your animal print leggins (not what they were called back then!) was amazing. I love the picture even though it is difficult to see clearly. Thanks Johnny.
This being the fifteenth year since you left, I decided not to run the memorial in the newspaper this year. No one reads the newspaper anymore anyway, everything is online. Carol usually posts a picture of you and I will this year also instead of the newspaper. I love you Jimmy.
You are forever in my heart.
This is Jimmy's first band 'Stalker' from high school - Jimmy is the one on the left with the red guitar. I hadn't seen this picture before and one of the guys in the band posted it,
and when I saw it my heart skipped a beat! It is hard to explain the feeling when you see a new picture you haven't seen before. The band actually played a few gigs back then and were pretty good.
Jimmy drew the Stalker logo that is in the background.
This is a picture of Mikey and Stacey's rat rod motorcycle. Mikey is so proud of it and the fact that he helped design it and had it built...
it gets a lot of attention, which he loves. Just like his other motorcycle, there are thoughts and memories of you throughout the design.
Here are a few of his designs in your memory. On the front tire rim they added 'graffiti' from Mikey and Stacey's lives and you can see most of the 'RIP Jimmy' in the picture.
The other picture shows a Corona beer bottle that is the gas gauge, also in memory of you Jimmy.
Conrad’s second birthday with the Elmo drum set Mike and I got him.
He loves his drums just like his grandfather Jimmy did. (He also loves Elmo!)
If only I could bring you back,
For even just one day,
I’d tell you what you meant to me
before you went away.
If only I could hold you now
And kiss your handsome face.
I’d ask God to take me first
And gladly take your place.
If only I could have been there
For you on that terrible day
I’d take you by the hand, My Son
And walk with you all the way.
Its years since you've been gone
But in our hearts you still live on
Our family chain is broken
And nothing is the same.
We mention your name
And speak of you often.
God Bless you Jimmy
You will never be forgotten.
Over these past years we have sort of adopted the dragonfly as our sign
from Jimmy. Dragonfly’s seem to follow us
and are sometimes very persistent.
A couple of years ago, we had family in town from Texas and we were in the backyard
swimming and enjoying the day. There was one lone dragonfly that stayed with us
most of the afternoon. He would fly
just inches above our heads and sometimes
land on them, and then back to hovering above us. I read some where on the
that “the image of the dragonfly sparks the creative power of the
imagination. Living in an aura of fantasy, the dragonfly’s fluttering wings
inspire thoughts of fairies and butterflies; bubbles and snowflakes. They flit
from flower to flower, from tree to tree;
settling on dew-kissed leaves and
grass. Within sight yet always out of reach.” For us… they inspire thoughts of Jimmy.
"When someone you love becomes a memory,
becomes a treasure."
In Loving Memory of
James Edward Poffinbarger III
03/05/71 ~ 09/07/03
Loving you is easy,
We do it every day,
Missing you is a heartache
That never goes away.
You are forever in our hearts
Until we meet again....
Mom, Mike, Nick, Conrad, Eric,
Mikey, Stacey, Tyler, Bryce,
Sheri, David, Ruby and
A wife who loses a husband is called a widow.
A husband who loses a wife is called a widower.
A child who loses his parents is called an orphan.
But... there is no word for a parent who loses a child,
that is how horrifying the loss is!
A funny thing happened the other day; I went riding on my motorcycle for the first time by myself.
I was a little nervous but took the same path that Mike and I have been taking for the last few weeks
while I’m learning. I went through the neighborhood without any problems and then got out on F Highway that runs along the river.
The speed limit is a little higher and it is a curvy road which also makes me nervous, but I was determined to do it
by myself. All of a sudden I came to what seemed like a million dragon flies flying all around the road.
I was so surprised and immediately thought of you and that you were there with me.
I took a deep breath and relaxed and had the best ride ever. What a great feeling. Thank you.
There has been a lot of talk at TCF, on TV, etc. about where our children are that have died
and whether or not they can still be reached, leave us signs, etc. and as far as I am concerned there really isn’t any way
to prove one way or the other. It is like believing in GOD in some ways, there is no proof but there are signs
and some of us chose to believe and some don’t. I find it interesting that the majority of the people that don’t believe
do believe in GOD when it is the same theory. Anyway my thoughts are that when I believe I have gotten a sign from you,
it makes me think of you and smile and that makes me feel good. So regardless of whether you left me the sign
or not… the result is the same, I still thought of you and smiled. So what or who can it hurt?
Definitely not me. The dragon flies made me smile and enjoy my ride. When you and Dean play the IPOD,
we all smile. So please don’t stop!
This is your 15 year angel anniversary. It still breaks my heart every day and it still hurts more
than I can ever put into words. All of our lives have moved on, as they should, but there is a hole in our family
that only you could fill. I tried to find some different pictures to add to your website this year, but wasn’t very successful.
I have lots of you as a little boy but as you got older you never really wanted to be in the pictures
or you weren’t around or something. Every time I look at them they just seem to get older and older.
They remind me that we are leaving you behind and I hate that. So I tend to stay away from the older pictures.
I let Stacey and Sheri take most of the pictures now and I get copies when I need or want them.
I would love to find a lost box of pictures that was filled with pictures of you and the boys, you and Mikey and Sheri, etc.
What a great find that would be!
I miss you Jimmy. I miss all the things we should have done together but never did… I miss being your mom.
I hope you are at peace and happy wherever you are and I hope that you are watching over us
and sending us those little signs whenever you can.
You are forever in my heart! I love you Jimmy.
Pennies From Heaven
I found a penny today
Just laying on the ground,
But it’s not just a penny
This little coin I’ve found.
Found pennies come from Heaven
That’s what my Grandpa told me,
He said “Angels toss them down”
Oh, how I loved that story…
He said “When an Angel misses you
They toss a penny down,
Sometimes just to cheer you up
And make a smile out of your frown”.
So don’t pass by that penny
When you‘re feeling blue,
It may be a penny from Heaven
That an Angel tossed to you.
~ Author Unknown
This is a beautiful and loving gift for Angel Jimmy from my friend, Ann, mom to Angel Jason.
Deep in our hearts
To love and to cherish,
And never forget.
Jimmy with his stepdad Mike and Mikey. "The phones for you Jimmy". When he
was a teenager,
he would talk to his girlfriend until he fell asleep, with her
still on the phone!
Jimmy with Mikey at his high school graduation.
Jimmy with his sister Sheri and brother Mikey goofing around at Grandma and
Jimmy sitting on his front porch swing with his oldest son Nick. He loves
Jimmy and his son Eric at Eric's birthday party.
Jimmy with Nick. Nick had just gotten his hair braided. He goes for
the different hair styles like his father did.
Jimmy and his mom on his wedding day. He loved tattoos and this picture
shows the celtic design
he had tattooed on his head.
And this is Jimmy with his stepdad Mike who was his best man. Mike was
always like a father to Jimmy.
Mikey and Jimmy on the Cruise ship. For our 20th wedding anniversary, all
the kids and their spouses and my sister and her husband
went on a cruise to
Cancun. At the time it wasn't what we expected it to be, but I am so glad we
all went together.
Nick, Eric, Tyler, Bryce and Ruby – all the grandkids together celebrating Nick’s graduation.
For Jimmy’s anniversary I want to share some old memories and a few new memories…
ones he has only seen from above as he watches over us.
Sheri, Mikey and Jimmy at Mikey's wedding. Jimmy was a groomsman and played
This is the last picture I have of the three of them together.
Gone are the days we used to share,
But in our hearts you are always there,
The gates of memory will never close,
We miss you more than anyone knows,
With tender love and deep regret,
We who love you will never forget.
Let it not be said my life was in vain,
I've just moved on to a higher plane.
So I can keep better watch over you,
As you move on like you need to do
Though this life has reached an end,
I'm waiting for you around the bend.
I beg you please don't weep for me!
It's not so bad for soon you'll see,
That I will linger long past this sunset,
In the hearts of you who love me yet.
~ Author unknown
And this is the whole family. It was quite a feat getting everyone off work
and in one place at the same time, but we did it.
It still breaks my heart
that you aren't in the pictures with us and it was hard to do this. But if
you look closely,
all of us girls are wearing angels.
The angels are for you
Jimmy, in your memory. We all miss you so much.
Jimmy with his band (Joe, Steve, Jimmy, Dave)
Jimmy was a very talented young man. Besides his love and talent for music, he was an artist and an accomplished cook.
He won a state contest with a picture he drew in the 8th grade that still hangs in our living room. He used only a pencil.
It is beautiful. When Jimmy was in his late teens, he created a ‘chain mail’ vest for his leather jacket.
He used tiny pieces of some type of metal wire and interlocked each individual piece of metal. It took him months to create
and it is really quite amazing (I still have it, too). He also sculpted a set of 4 miniature guitars that were absolutely beautiful.
These are just a few of the projects he worked on over the years.
Jimmy was also an excellent cook. From the time he was a teenager, he could prepare a complete meal better than I could.
The Christmas of 2002, the last Christmas we all spent together at my sister’s house, we were making the usual turkey and ham
with all the fixings. Well neither my sister nor I know how to glaze a ham, so Jimmy stepped in
and made the best glaze we had ever tasted. Everyone loved it and was amazed that he could just throw it together like that.
Jimmy also made the best soups. He made a broccoli and cheese soup and potato soup that were unbelievable. Before Jimmy passed,
he was thinking about starting a website to sell his home made salad dressings, but he never got very far.
When we packed up his things at his house, I found his recipes in his favorite book. I thought about trying them out,
but typical for Jimmy, he has only the ingredients written down, not the measurements. He was like my mother,
always cooking without measuring, just knowing the right amounts.
Goodbyes are not forever.
Goodbyes are not the end.
They simply mean I'll miss you
Until we meet again!
Although life goes on Jimmy, our hearts will never forget you.
Jimmy, this is Nick, playing your guitar. Like father,
like son. Nick is the spitting image of you.
Everything about him reminds me
FORGOTTEN? - NEVER!
Friends may think we have forgotten
When at times they see us smile.
Little do they know the heartaches
That our smiles hide all the while.
Beautiful memories are wonderful things.
That last till the longest day.
They never wear out.
They never get lost and
can never be given away.
To some you may be forgotten.
To others apart of the past.
But to those who loved
and lost you...
Your memory will always last.
~ Author Unknown
The Moment That You Died
The Moment that you died,
Our hearts split in two,
The one side filled with memories
The other died with you.
I often lay awake at night,
When the world is fast asleep,
And take a walk down memory lane,
With tears upon my cheeks.
Remembering you is easy,
I do it every day,
But missing you is a heartache,
That never goes away.
We hold you tightly within our hearts,
And there you will remain,
Life has gone on without you,
But will never be the same.
When I Must Leave You
When I must leave you for a little while-
Please do not grieve and shed wild tears
And hug your sorrow to you
Through the years,
But start out bravely with a gallant smile;
And for my sake and in my name
Live on and do all things the same,
Feed not your loneliness on empty days,
But fill each waking hour in useful ways,
Reach out your hand in comfort and in cheer
And I in turn will comfort you and hold you near;
And never, never be afraid to die,
For I am waiting for you in the sky!
By Helen Steiner Rice
Made with love in memory of Jimmy
Remembered forever in our hearts
A small gift for Jimmy's Family on his Angel Day. God bless you.
GEOFFREY P. EDWARDS
Dear Kim and ANGEL Jimmy
Mom I am your ANGEL
That now lives up above
Mom I haven't left you
Every day I send you my love
I know you can't see me
And that really hurts you
But I am with you every day
So please don't feel down and blue
One day we will all be together
But you must not keep asking
Just like me I had done my time
Only GOD knows
And in HIM you must believe
MY DEEPEST LOVE TO YOU KIM
In Loving Memory of Lee Henry Aguilera
A friend can hear a tear drop.
This webpage is created
In Loving Memory of Jimmy Poffinbarger
on August 23, 2006
Last updated: September 2, 2018
© 2000 - 2018
Maria's Tribute to Christopher
My Angel Son Michael
I'm so sorry for your loss. Your son Jimmy looked like such a nice boy.
I'm sure he took God's hand and went home with him. May you always feel your precious angel near.
God bless you and bring your heart peace.