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Jesse James

  • "I am so sorry about the death of Jesse. I know that at this..."
    - TT
  • "An extra special salute to Jesse James. What a fine man. I..."
    - Dave Huffman
  • "My thoughts and prayers are with all the family. I..."
    - Beth Cox
  • "May God bless you and your family in this time of sorrow."
    - S. R. Wright

Jesse R. James 11/28/1920 -4/18/2014 RALEIGH - Jesse R. James, Jr., 93 of Raleigh, North Carolina passed away on Friday, April 18, 2014. Jesse was born on November 28, 1920 in Oriental, NC to Jesse and Etta James. Jesse was preceded in death by his wife Martha Eleanor Thorne James and wife Betty Jean McSwain James and sister Marguerite Kent. He is survived by his son Jesse R. James III and wife Jane; son Philip T. James and wife Marie, son John S. James and wife Meredith; Grandchildren: Jennifer Larkin, Julie Johnson, Jesse R. James IV, John Warren James, Laura K James, Samantha Morgan James, and Philip James; Great-grandchildren Dean and Eden Larkin, Rhyd, Rhys, and Jade Johnson, and Sloane, Charlotte, and Ava James. Jesse's life is reflected by the question that his father would use to wake as him as a child, "What are we going to do today?" and he would answer, "Get up and go get them"- Sportsman, Educator, Public Servant. His childhood experiences shaped him and guided his life. Upon graduating Brogden High School in 1939, he received a basketball and baseball scholarship to Wake Forest University; however, life had other plans for him. In 1940 he enlisted in the U.S. Army and departed for the Pacific, from the same location as his father did when deploying to Europe for WWI. Upon arriving in Hawaii he held various positions in the Military Police and Ordinance (Hawaiian War Plans). Jesse was Sergeant of the Guard at Fort Armstrong on the morning of Dec 7th, 1941. He and three of his first cousins survived the Pearl Harbor attack. He could have lived out the war on Waikiki beach, but that was not his style. Upon graduating from Officer Candidate School, Ordinance School, and Engineer School, he departed for Italy and landed on Anzio Beach head as a newly minted Lieutenant. We was assigned to VI Corp 39th Combat Engineers, 1st Battalion, Alpha Company. As the result of artillery shelling on April 12, 1944, he lost his right leg and part of his left foot. During his Service he earned the Purple Heart with 2 Bronze Oak Leaf Clusters, Good Conduct Medal, American Defense Medal with 1 Service Star, American Campaign Medal, Asiatic Pacific Campaign Medal, European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal with 2 Bronze Service Stars, and World War II Victory Medal. Being placed on the Disabled List, he continued to better himself by graduating from Atlantic Christian College (President of Sigma Alpha and was Who's Who) and earning a Master's of Arts in Administration from ECU in1952. He held many positions culminating in a life's work. Principal, Lewiston High school; Principal, Gaston High School; Special Agent SBI (one of the first 20 agents hired); Criminal Investigations Division, USMC Camp Lejune; Chief of Police, Burlington, NC; Chief of Police, Charlotte, NC; Director, Industrial Relations, Florida Steel Corp; Assistant Director, Institute of Government UNC; Law Enforcement Consultant of Programs for HEW; A Deputy Regional Administrator for LEAA (Des Plaines, Ill); Chief of Police and Organized Crime Division for LEAA (D.C.). He continued to serve his community with the Shriners, the Scottish Rite, as Past President of the NC Pearl Harbor Survivors Association, and as a Master Mason. Jesse never met a stranger. He was always ready to pull out his guitar and to play music for friends and family, especially his beloved grandchildren who would sing along with him. He told stories of playing guitar with Andy Griffith, when Andy was a young actor in Manteo, NC. He never missed an opportunity to encourage others to dream big and do their best in all things. Funeral services will be held on Wednesday, April 23 at 11:00 am with visitations at 10:00 am prior to the service at Mitchell Funeral Home, 7209 Glenwood Ave, Raleigh, NC. Interment will follow at Raleigh Memorial Park. Online Memorials:

Published in Charlotte Observer on Apr. 22, 2014
Jesse Roland James
Click name above for additional details at:
Arrangements under the direction of:
Mitchell Funeral Home at Raleigh Memorial Park
7209 Glenwood Ave | Raleigh, NC 27612 | (919) 783-7128
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