John Arthur Eaves
John Arthur Eaves was the eighth of William Andrew and Pearl Rogers Eaves’ nine children. Born in his father’s hand-built home in Louisville, Mississippi, John Arthur’s actual date of birth was never exactly known; each year his birthday was celebrated from July 30th until August 1st. He honed his negotiating skills at the young age of six when he successfully convinced his mother to let him stay home with her and consequently failed first grade. John Arthur grew up during the Great Depression and began working as a carhop at the A1 Drive-In at the age of eight. By age fifteen, he had worked his way to a management position. Even in his later years, he was able to quote verbatim the menu from every serving position he held. At age sixteen, he managed the local skating rink where he laced up the skates of his future beloved wife, Patricia Lovorn.
John Arthur graduated from Louisville High School in 1954. After spending four years at Mississippi State University obtaining a Bachelors of Science degree in Geology in 1959, he joined the Army and went to Officer Candidate School (OCS). During his time in the Army, John not only rose to rank of Sargent but also served in the Army Judge Advocate General’s Corps as a Judge Advocate (JAG). He always started his best stories with the quip, “I was surrounded on all four sides” or “I learned this in Basic Training.” John Arthur graduated from the University of Mississippi with both a Bachelor of Laws (LLB) and Doctor of Jurisprudence (JD). During his time in Oxford, he sold sandwiches on campus and shoes at Neilson’s Department Store.
On August 23, 1963, with Rev. Clarence Mayo and Rev. Vernon May officiating at the First Baptist Church in their hometown, John Arthur married the little skater girl who ultimately captivated him with her beauty as she exited a school bus on the campus of Mississippi State University. Their love produced three precious children, John Arthur, Jr., Paige Leigh, and Tiffany LaDair. John Arthur’s unwavering faith existed in every aspect of his life. From Morrison Heights Baptist Church in Clinton to Pinelake Church in Madison, the love for his Heavenly Father radiated through him in his actions towards others and his desire to serve God’s children.
He began practicing law in Jackson in 1963. In 1972, John Arthur was elected to the House of Representatives in an upset victory that caught the attention of political observers. Announcing in the last hour in 1975, he declared his gubernatorial candidacy. John Arthur’s gubernatorial race was described as a “tornado” after he entered the race. In the end, although not elected, he won a shocking number of votes and set the stage for future campaigns. He was known for his rendition of “The Ragged Old Flag.” From 1975 to 1979, John Arthur grew his law practice. He was admired for his tenacity, passion, and determination to help those who had been treated unjustly. In 1979, he campaigned across the state as a populist to end the racial divide, increase economic growth, and serve as a champion for the forgotten and underserved populations. Proudly opposed to the “fat cats” that ran the state, John Arthur was nick-named, “The Pugnacious Maverick” during his second gubernatorial race in 1987. He was honored to have received 80% of the vote in his home of Louisville, where folks always remembered the hardworking son of Winston County.
The law firm of John Arthur Eaves has represented plaintiffs both nationally and internationally since 1963. Clients have come from all over the United States and countries as diverse as Mexico, Italy, Thailand, Venezuela, Ukraine, Colombia, Germany, and the Dominican Republic. He leaves his legacy of practicing to his son and four grandsons who are currently practicing or in law school. One would be hard pressed to find an employee or client who did not have kind words to describe John Arthur as a lawyer and human being. John Arthur was a member of the American Bar Association, Mississippi Bar Association, Washington D.C. Bar Association, Texas Bar Association, American Trial Lawyers Association, and U.S. Supreme Court Bar.
John Arthur is preceded in death by his parents, William Andrew and Pearl Rogers Eaves, his wife, Patricia Lovorn Eaves, his siblings, Beryl Luther, Rubin Eaves, Rodger Eaves, Andrew C. Eaves, Jr., Nancy Isonhart, Brownie Jackson, and Fred Eaves.
He is survived by his children, John Arthur Eaves, Jr. (Angel), Paige Eaves Ray (Morgan), Tiffany Eaves Schlesinger (Sam), and Diana Eaves; his grandchildren, John Arthur Eaves, III, Sterling Overton Eaves (Elizabeth), Christopher Brady Eaves, Christian Andrew Eaves (Rives), Alexandrea Logan Gill, Meallan Vitali Krauchenka, Mary Margaret Bella Ray, Morgan Quinby Ray, and Ava Lee Eaves; his brother, Jyles Eaves; and multiple nieces and nephews.
The Eaves family has much appreciation for and would like to thank Dr. Qu and entire staff at Jackson Oncology Associates and the Doctors, ER, and nursing staff at Baptist Hospital for ministering to all his needs.
All are welcome to join in the family’s celebration of John Arthur’s life and legacy. Visitation is Wednesday, March 23rd from 5 pm to 8 pm at the family chapel located at Rosemeade Gardens. A second visitation is scheduled for Thursday, March 24th at 10 am with a service at 11 am at Pinelake Church in Madison. Graveside service will follow at Parkway Cemetery in Ridgeland.