Cover photo for James "Red" Rayford Hartsfield, Jr.'s Obituary
James "Red" Rayford Hartsfield, Jr. Profile Photo
1989 James 2017

James "Red" Rayford Hartsfield, Jr.

March 13, 1989 — October 7, 2017

On March 13, 1989 in Chicago, Illinois James Hartsfield, Sr., and Kotonya Porter welcomed the birth of a bouncing light bright green eyed bubble of joy who they named James “Red” Rayford Hartsfield, Jr. From the beginning they knew he would grow up to be a very active and talented child. In 1992 the family moved to Oakland, California and later moved to Gurdon in 2001. He accepted Christ as a young man and was a member of Mt. Canaan Baptist Church. James was a 2007 graduate of Gurdon High School where he excelled as a student and as an athlete playing football, basketball and running track.  He was one of the popular students that walked the halls of Gurdon High School. His energetic personality, his giving nature and his pursuit for the next best thing was a magnet for those who wanted his energy to rub off on them. He later relocated to Little Rock where he attended UALR and worked as a Supervisor at both Home Depot and Walgreens. He had a strong work ethic and worked hard. He was eventually recruited and offered a supervisor position at Wal-Mart. He worked as a personal trainer at LA Fitness, he loved to read and have intelligent conversations. He always maintained close ties to his family and friends in Gurdon and Chicago. “Red” or “Goldie” as he was often called enthusiastically enjoyed entertaining with them at parties and get-togethers, fish fry’s, bar-b-que’s, card games, and excursions back and forth to Chicago. Although he had no children of his own, he showered his niece and nephew with love and affection. He was a great father figure and role model. During all of his twenty-eight seasons of life, he made friends across all walks of life. He was loved and no doubt will always be remembered. Many who crossed his path will never forget the glow in his eyes and his welcoming smile. On Saturday, October 7, 2017 James passed from this life and rests. He was preceded in death by his father, James Rayford Hartsfield, Sr.(1994); his mother, Kotonya Porter (2004) and grandfather, Carl Ray Johnson (2006). He leaves to cherish his memory: two sisters, Lauren Hartsfield of Chicago, IL and Natasha Hamilton of Chicago, IL; one niece, Lamya Watkins of Chicago, IL and one nephew, Armani Ambrose of Chicago, IL; his beloved grandmothers, Effie Porter Johnson of Gurdon, AR and Marie Hartsfield of Chicago, IL; aunts, Patrina Porter of Chicago, IL, Natasha Porter of Chicago, IL, Zaidee Smith of Chicago, IL, Barbara Nance of Conyers, GA, Precious Johnson of Los Angeles, CA and Valarie Gilmer of Chicago, IL; uncles, Kenneth Porter of Chicago, IL, Carl (Tika) Johnson of Arkadelphia, AR, Myron Hartsfield of Chicago, IL, Ezra Hartsfield of Saulk Village, IL, Calvin Hartsfield of Romeoville, Il and Derrick Houser of Chicago, IL; great aunts, Martina Brant of Sacramento, Ca and Perri Walker of Oakland, CA; great uncles, Louis Porter of Lebanon, TN and Sam Hillard; great-great aunt, Vora Graham of Gurdon, AR; special cousins, Juan Williams of Gurdon, AR and TJ Jackson of Gurdon, AR; a host of other cousins and numerous friends. Public visitation will be from 1:00 pm-7:00 pm on Friday, October 20, 2017 and the family will gather from 6:00 pm – 7:00 pm so share memories of James. A celebration of his life will be at 1:00 pm on Saturday, October 21, 2017 at Mt. Canaan Baptist Church with Rev. Johnny Harris, eulogist. Interment will be in Greenville Cemetery under the direction of Williams Funeral Home.
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Service Schedule

Past Services


Friday, October 20, 2017

1:00 - 7:00 pm (Central time)

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Celebration of Life

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Starts at 1:00 pm (Central time)

Mt. Canaan Baptist Church

504 S 5th St, Gurdon, AR 71743

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