James Bernard Venable

Mt. Zion Baptist Church Cemetery

U.S. Veteran

        Mr. James B. Venable was born December 16, 1913 in New York City. He died June 29, 1995 at Johnston-Willis Hospital.

        He was raised in Powhatan, Virginia where he came to live as an infant.

        He attended elementary school in Norfolk, Virginia and high school in Richmond, Virginia. He received degrees from both Virginia Union University and Virginia State University.

        Education was very important to him, and he dedicated a large part of his life to educating and inspiring others to learn. He taught in the Powhatan County School System for 29 years and served as principal of Pocahontas Middle School for 6 years. He taught Sunday School at Greenbrier Baptist Church, where he had been an active member since an early age. He also taught at Mt. Zion Baptist Church Sunday School for more than 30 years.

        He served in the United States Army and the United States Army Reserve for 20 years; he retired with a rank of Captain.

        He was a member of the Shining Light Masonic Lodge #272 of Powhatan for many years attaining Past Master.

        He also actively served with numerous community services and civic organizations.

        He will be most fondly remembered for his wit and wisdom, his generosity and his loving heart by those he leaves behind.

        He is survived by his devoted wife, Josephine Viola Venable; one son, Demetrius Venable; two daughters, Xochela James and Yvonne Venable Charles; seven grandchildren, Dennis Holder Jr., DeLander Holder, Damian Holder, Damaris Bentley, Juanita Venable, Jessica Venable, and S. Rafael James; five great-grandchildren, Bruce Woodbridge, Cameron Woodbridge, Devan Kaufmaan, Kiara Holder, and Daleel Holder; one daughter-in-law, Geri Venable; one son-in-law, Stephen James; two granddaughers-in-law, Jasmine Holder and Ursula Holder; one sister, Marion Reynolds of New York; four sisters-in-law; one brother-in-law, and a number of nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends; one in particular, James Brown, a devoted cousin.


Oh, to catch the wings of flight
And soar where the eagles go,
to leave the woes of troubled souls
Behind me far below.

I'd listen to the song of birds
And sail in endless flight,
Then chase the sun through cloudy paths
And play with stars at night.

The boundless heavens for my home,
The breeze to lift me high
To rise above my mortal bonds
And never have to die.

Knowing I had found the way
To trail where angels trod,
And when my wings could fly no more-
I'd take the hands of God!

C. David Hay

reprinted by permission
@ 2008 Powhatan County Historical Society. All rights reserved