Jimmie Don Pledger, formerly of McGregor and Lorena, passed away with family at Groesbeck, on Thursday, August 11, 2022, at age 72. Interment with military honors will be at 11:00 a.m. on Tuesday, August 23, 2022, in the Central Texas State Veterans Cemetery in Killeen. Jimmie was born November 24, 1949, in Waco to Koal Maynard and Anna Lucille (Spivey) Pledger. He grew up in McGregor and graduated from McGregor High School in 1967. In high school, Jimmie had been a great baseball player, and after graduating played in the minors, and was accepted by the White Sox. His baseball career was cut short when he dislocated his shoulder in the warm-up before the start of the first game with the White Sox. Jimmie was drafted by the U. S. Army and served two tours in Viet Nam. He was actually lost in war, until he was picked up by a Vietnamese fishing vessel that took him to a friendly village where they hid him from the enemy. He was rescued by another army unit nine months later. During battle, he was shot 3 times and wounded by a grenade, and later in life suffered from the Agent Orange exposure, although he would not accept any help from the government. His experience left him with PTSD, and a serious hatred of rice or any white food, and the water. After his honorable discharge in 1976, he returned home to McGregor and went to work as a butcher. Jimmie met and was soon united in marriage with Lucretia Wilson in 1976. They owned and operated a bakery and game room. Jimmie had been a chef in the Army, and he was the baker, making donuts and cakes. He was known for the Christmas candy he enjoyed making all his life, and even though he did not eat it himself, he made it for everyone else. The family moved to Lorena in 1991, where they raised their daughter and son. He coached their teams and served as umpire. After the bakery, Jimmie worked for TDC in Gatesville, until he went to work for the U. S. Post Office in Lorena as a rural mail carrier. He retired from the Post Office in 2011 and became a professional PawPaw. Jimmie had a love of history and was a genius in math to the point of being a human-calculator. He played in poker tournaments, and was a whiz at Jeopardy, even being accepted to play on a Jeopardy segment to be filmed in Dallas, but was cancelled. Jimmie was a coin collector and owned a coin shop in Waco. He travelled to coin shows selling and collecting. However, his greatest joy was in his 4 grandchildren and one great grandchild. He had changed many diapers and set up with sick ones many nights. He had lived in Groesbeck since 2017, and he drove the kids everywhere – to school, practices, games, for donuts, or anywhere else they needed to be. He was always the first in line for picking them up at the school, until the last seven months when his eyesight had kept him from being able to drive. He will be greatly missed by his family and friends, and the recipients of his Christmas candy. Jimmie had read the Waco paper daily for years, he said, to see if he was in the obituaries; "Dad, you finally made the Waco paper." Jimmie was preceded in death by his parents, and brothers, Koal Pledger, Jr. and Bruce Pledger. He is survived by his son and daughter-in-law, Brett and Tanya Pledger; daughter, Robbie Pledger; grandchildren, Kaylee Pledger, Rylie Pledger, Joseph Brotherton and his wife Hadley, and Clayton Brotherton and his wife, Rebecca; great granddaughter, Paisley Brotherton; and his ex-wife, Lucretia Wilson. He also survived by his sister, Pam Bottoms and her children; brother, Hervey and wife Judy Pledger and their children; as well as nieces, nephews and other extended family.