James E. Leathers of Malden, son of the late Charles Earnest Leathers and Minnie Ethel Borders Leathers, was born Oct. 25, 1921 at Parma and died Wednesday, March 6, 2002 at the John J. Pershing VA Medical Center in Poplar Bluff, at the age of 80. Mr. Leathers was a farmer, trucker and watermelon broker. He served in the United States Army during the World War II. James was elected the "Watermelon King" of Southeast Missouri and was affiliated with the First General Baptist Church in Malden. He was united in marriage to Corean Unice McPherson Leathers on Nov. 2, 1940 in Malden. Mrs. Leathers preceded him in death on Aug. 26, 1993. Survivors include two sons, Jim Leathers of LaBelle, Fla. and Jerry Mack Leathers of Kansas City, Mo.; three daughters, Phyllis Gruchella of St. Louis, Sue Heid of Tampa, Fla. and Tammie Doyel of Yuma, Ariz.; one sister, Imogene Stewart of Collierville, Tenn.; one brother, Dr. Charles Leathers of Salem; 13 grandchildren; and eight great-grandchildren. Besides his wife and parents, he was preceded in death by one sister, Marie Snider; and two brothers, Roy and Buddy Leathers. Visitation was held on Friday, March 8 at the Landess Funeral Home in Malden from 6 - 8 p.m. Funeral services were held on Saturday, March 9 at 2 p.m. in the Landess Funeral Chapel with Rev. Dale Shoup officiating. Interment followed at the Memorial Park Cemetery in Malden with Landess Funeral Home of Malden in charge of arrangements.