(Updated) Vinemont Councilman, former Mayor J.D. Marcum dies at 85

Vinemont Councilman and former Mayor J.D. Marcum (2016 Cullman Tribune file photo/Wendy Sack)

Updated 11-30-20 at 6:34 p.m.

SOUTH VINEMONT, Ala. – South Vinemont Councilman and former Mayor J.D. Marcum died Saturday evening at the age of 85. He was hospitalized at Crestwood Hospital in Huntsville after testing positive for COVID-19. Services for Marcum will be held Sunday, Dec. 6, 2020 at 2 p.m. at Flint Creek Cemetery with Carlos Wilhite and Larry Woods officiating.

Marcum was born on Valentine’s Day in 1935 to James Obra and Lorene Marcum. He grew up in the Cold Springs community and graduated from Cold Springs High School. After high school, he attended and graduated from St. Bernard College.

Marcum later joined the United States Army, then returned home to Cullman County. He worked at Sears for many years. He, along with his wife, worked at Doyle Real Estate before opening Marcum-Freeman Real Estate. He opened and retired from Certified Real Estate Appraisers.

Marcum is survived by his wife Edith, whom family and friends call “Deedie.” They were married Dec. 8, 1972 and would have celebrated their 48th anniversary this month. In their many years together, the Marcums enjoyed spending time together and making memories with their family.

“He spent many years traveling with his kids seeing most of the United States,” said son Brent Partain,” pulling a camper and boat everywhere. He taught the kids how to hunt, garden and experience the outdoors. He supported his kids in their many hobbies and activities from motorcycle and go-kart racing to karate and all their school sports.”

Marcum’s daughter Jennifer Smith said of her father, “Dad served in the Army, was a church elder and a loving father.”

J.D. and Edith Marcum were founding members of the Ridgecrest Community Church where Partain said his dad remained active and served as an elder until his passing.

In 2015, after serving 12 years on the South Vinemont Town Council, Marcum was named mayor after the resignation of Melba Patton. He served as mayor for 18 months before returning to his council seat, which he held at the time of his death.

South Vinemont Mayor Radginal Dodson said of Marcum, “He was much, much help to me. He was very outgoing, and he was from ‘old school.’ He never had a smartphone, but he did have a flip phone. Him and that flip phone on various occasions would part company to where you couldn’t get in touch with him. He was the epitome of the old way of doing things and was satisfied with things as they were. Something new, he needed to be explained exactly what it was and who it would benefit and once he got that straight, he was either for it or against it. He was not hard to get along with at all. He was the epitome of a helpful council person to anybody’s mayor.”

Former Councilwoman JoAnn Oakley, who served alongside Marcum during his many years in office, said, “He was a good man. He’s been very active in the community for years, him and Edith both. I really enjoyed working with him on the council.”

The City of Cullman released the following statement on social media: “We, the City of Cullman Mayor and City Council members, extend our condolences to the family and friends of Vinemont City Councilmember and former Mayor J.D. Marcum. Mr. Marcum was a true humanitarian who served the citizens of Vinemont with honesty and integrity. He will be greatly missed. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends as well as with the citizens of Vinemont.”

J.D. is survived by his wife Edith “Deedie” Marcum; children Ramona Tarrance, David (Misty) Partain, Brent (Danielle) Partain, and Jennifer (Jason) Smith; grandchildren Lindsay Partain, Trey Partain, Katelyn (Brandon) Brown, Carson Partain, Joshua Watson, Anna (Blake) Dingler, Luke Watson, and Cailah Campbell; great-grandson Jericho Dingler; brothers J. O. (Emily) Marcum and Charles “Tuffy” (Gary Sue) Marcum; and a host of nieces, nephews, family, and friends.

Updated 11-29-20 at 6:02 p.m.

VINEMONT, Ala. – Vinemont Councilman and former Mayor J.D. Marcum passed away Saturday night, Nov. 28, at the age of 85. Councilwoman Sonya Mabry confirmed the news Sunday afternoon.

Marcum had been hospitalized in Huntsville and tested positive for COVID-19.

Vinemont Mayor Radginal Dodson has the flag at Vinemont Town Hall lowered to half-staff.

Look for more information soon.

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Christy Perry