Cover photo for James Albert "Kayo" Mullins's Obituary
James Albert "Kayo" Mullins Profile Photo
1930 Kayo 2023

James Albert "Kayo" Mullins

July 15, 1930 — July 11, 2023



James Albert “Kayo” Mullins, age 92, of Jackson, Tennessee passed away on July 11 at home.

A devoted husband and father, he was also a Professor at the University of Tennessee AgResearch and Education Center and later employed in agribusiness.  Kayo lived in Jackson, Tennessee for almost 60 years. 

Kayo was born in Itta Bena, Mississippi on July 15, 1930, to his parents Kathleen Virginia Vaughan and William Kenneth Mullins.  A younger brother Syd Vaughan Mullins joined the family four years later. When Kayo was ten, his family moved to Grenada, Mississippi.  His childhood home was always filled with lots of extended family and adventure.

Kayo graduated from Grenada High School in 1948, Hinds Junior College in 1950, Mississippi State University in 1954, and Iowa State University in 1964. He also completed graduate studies at Clemson University. Kayo graduated with a doctorate in Agriculture Engineering from Iowa State University with his wife Corky and four children in tow.

In high school, Kayo excelled in football and basketball. He served as the captain of the football team, class president, and was elected Mr. Grenada High School. While at Hinds Junior College, Kayo was the class vice president, yearbook editor, and elected Mr. Hinds Junior College. Kayo was a member of the Pi Kappa Alpha Fraternity while a student at Mississippi State.  Mississippi State recognized Kayo as one of their top 100 Engineering Graduates at the University’s 100th anniversary in 1980.

Kayo enlisted in the US Army National Guard at age 17.  He served as Artillery Master Sergeant on active duty in 1951-1952 during the Korean War conflict. He retired as a Captain after 25 years in the National Guard and Army Reserve.

Kayo was a professor of Agriculture Engineering at the University of Tennessee (UT) AgResearch and Education Center for 24 years. After retiring from UT, Kayo served as the Director of Agriculture at Pictsweet Farms for five years. He also served as Vice President of Marketing for Ring Around Products in Montgomery, AL from 1976 thru 1984. He also served as a consultant for cotton, farm applicators, and seed companies during his career.

Kayo was an active member of the United Methodist Church his entire life.  He served in variety of church roles in his 92 years including Youth Fellowship President, Sunday School Teacher, Lay Leader, and Administrative Board Chairman. In 1980, he preached at his childhood church, Grenada United Methodist Church.

Kayo was a Master Gardener.  His home landscape was featured in a few gardening magazines. As most good things that have happened in his life, the lion’s share of the credit should be given to his wife.

Kayo is survived by his wife Helen Barnes Mullins and his four children, Dr. Walt (Betsy) Mullins, Ken Mullins, Ginny Mullins (Ernest) Hulsey, and Todd Mullins. Kayo leaves behind seven grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren. He is also survived by one stepson, Ronald (Tammy) Barnes.  Survivors include eight step grandchildren and two step great-grandsons and many beloved nieces and nephews.

Kayo was proceeded in death by his wife Dorothy “Corky” Todd Mullins. Kayo and Corky were married for 52 years. Kayo was also proceeded in death by his parents, his brother Syd and wife Eva Smith Mullins, and his stepdaughter Judy Barnes Farley. 

A celebration of life service will be held at Forest Heights United Methodist Church in Jackson, Tennessee, on Saturday, July 15, at 2:00 p.m., with visitation at the church from 12:30 p.m. to 2:00 p.m.  The burial will follow at Ridgecrest Cemetery

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be given to Forest Heights United Methodist Church.

Arrington Funeral Directors, 148 W. University Parkway, Jackson, TN 38305, 731.668.1111,

“Preplanning… it just makes sense
To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of James Albert "Kayo" Mullins, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services


Saturday, July 15, 2023

12:30 - 2:00 pm (Central time)

Forest Heights Methodist Church

863 W Forest Ave, Jackson, TN 38301

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Funeral Service

Saturday, July 15, 2023

2:00 - 3:00 pm (Central time)

Forest Heights Methodist Church

863 W Forest Ave, Jackson, TN 38301

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


Visits: 1848

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the
Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Service map data © OpenStreetMap contributors

Send Flowers

Send Flowers

Plant A Tree

Plant A Tree