Jesse Ronald James, 74, passed away December 21, 2016 in Laurie, Missouri. His visitation was held at McDonald Funeral Home in Prophetstown, Illinois from 3 – 6 p.m. Wednesday, December 28. Private burial services took place Thursday, December 29, at Oak Knoll Cemetery in Sterling, Illinois.
Jesse was born October 16, 1942 in Ottumwa, Iowa to Jesse and Arlene James. Jesse earned his bachelors’ degree from Parsons College in Fairfield, Iowa, his masters’ degree from Truman State University (formerly Northeast Missouri State) in Kirksville, Missouri and his doctorate in education from Northern Illinois University in Dekalb, Illinois.
Jesse spent most of his career in education as a public school district administrator. He served as Superintendent at Milton Pope School near Marseilles, Illinois, Eagle Township near Streator, Illinois, Odell Central Consolidated School District in Odell, Illinois, Beardstown Community Unit School District in Beardstown, Illinois, Rock Falls High School in Rock Falls, Illinois and Rogers City Area Schools in Rogers City, Michigan. Following his retirement, he settled in Laurie, Missouri enjoying Lake of the Ozarks and serving as the Exalted Ruler and a very active member of the Osage Elks Lodge No. 2705.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Jesse and Arlene; his step-father, Bud Deweerdt; and his brother, Doug. He is survived by his wife, Sue; son, Scott; daughters, Jennifer (Ron) Jacobs and Stephanie; step-son, John Verdun; step-daughter, Julie (Tim) Schuld; sister, Pam (Gary) Youngblood; grandchildren, Danielle, Rex, Bo, Isaac, Emma, Olivia, Grace, Shadley, Kara and Lyla; and great-grandchildren ,Brycen and Liam.
Jesse will be remembered as a gentle man who was loved, respected and admired by all. He was a leader in his profession, a dedicated friend and a community-minded person with a quick-witted sense of humor whose love and pride of his family was endless.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be sent to Osage Elks Lodge No. 2705 to be used for their annual Christmas Basket Program.