Jesse was born on April 12, 1948 in Warren, Ohio to the late Jesse Willard James, Sr. and Roxie Ethel Montgomery James. In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his grandmother, Rosie Hicks Montgomery; two brothers, William “Bill” James and Robert “Bob” James; a sister, Candy Sue James Fair; his mother and father-in-law, Fred H. Vines and Virginia Mae Vines; and two brothers-in-law, Freddy Vines and Earl Stout.
Jesse was an early riser- always happy in the morning and always smiling. Jesse was a loving husband, father, brother, uncle, papaw, and a wonderful asset to his community. He was a 1966 graduate of Hampton High School, where he played on the 1966 basketball team that placed 4th in State. He was a United States Army veteran, having served between the years of June 1968 to June 1970 and served one year in Vietnam. Jesse earned the National Defense Service Medal, the Army Commendation Medal, the Vietnam Service Medal, a Bronze Star, the Vietnam Campaign Medal and the Vietnam Cross of Gallantry. He was a faithful and loyal member of Union Baptist Church of Hampton and served as a deacon and worked on multiple other committees. Jesse retired from Eastman Kodak Corporation and began coaching basketball for Hampton after his retirement. He was a 46 year member of the Hampton Blue Lodge where he had served as master and treasurer and was also a member of the Jericho Shriners. He loved going on mission trips and doing missionary work until his health hindered him from doing so. After retirement, Jesse also loved building houses and working with his church family. His love for his family, his church, his community and basketball will long be remembered! Jesse also held dear to his heart the communities of Elk Mills and Little Milligan.
Jesse leaves behind to cherish his legacy, his wife and best friend of 47 years, Carolyn Vines James, of the home; two daughters, Ethel Grindstaff and husband Brian and Billie Jo Bridgeman and husband, Rocky; a special nephew, Nick Vines and wife Amber and a special niece, Ashley Taylor; five grandchildren, Dakota Grindstaff, Katie Grindstaff, Jesse Smith, Justin Smith and Richard Bridgeman; three great nieces, Linsey Jenkins, Lexi Taylor and Hadley Vines; two great nephews, Austin Vines and Aidan Vines; five sisters, Betty James, Brenda Stout, Barbara Matheson, Pat Campbell and husband Bearl and Carol McClain and husband Bobby; two brothers-in-law, Kenneth Vines and wife Delores and Johnny Fair; two sisters-in-law, Karen Jaynes and husband Eddie and Joyce James. Also surviving are several nieces and nephews, as well as his church family, his extended Hampton High School family and his many neighbors and a multitude of friends.
A service to honor and celebrate the life of Jesse W. James, Jr. will be conducted at 2:00 PM on Sunday, February 3, 2019 in the Hampton High School gymnasium with Pastor Wesley Duncan and Pastor Ronnie Campbell, officiating. The family will receive friends from 11:00 AM until 2:00 PM in the gymnasium, prior to the service on Sunday.
The graveside service will follow in the Union Baptist Church cemetery. Masonic rights will be accorded by Hampton Masonic Lodge. Military honors will be accorded by the Carter County Honor Guard. Active pallbearers will be Nick Vines, Brian Grindstaff, Dakota Grindstaff, Aidan Vines, Austin Vines, Jesse Smith, Justin Smith and Rocky Bridgeman, Jr. Those wishing to attend the graveside service will join in the procession at the conclusion of the service at Hampton High School on Sunday.
The family would like to especially thank the ICU doctors, trauma staff and ICU nurses at the Johnson City Medical Center, the staff of the VA Medical Center, and Dr. Shobha with Cardiology Consultants for the love and care shown to Jesse and his family during his illness.
Online condolences may be shared with the family on our website, www.tetrickfuneralhome.com
Jesse and his family are in the care of Tetrick Funeral Home, Elizabethton. Office 423-542-2232, service information line, 423-543-4917.