James Priest, 79 of Clovis, passed away Saturday June 7, 2014, in Lubbock, TX.
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James was born April 24, 1935, to W. A and Maggie (Chick) Priest in Levelland TX. As a young boy James moved to Roswell, NM then to Clovis, in the Center Community and attended Center School. James joined the Army at the age of 18 and served his country in Japan and Korea. In 1956 he started driving a truck for Goldwest Flour Mill and in 1957 he graduated from Decatur Auctioneering School. James and his parents opened W & J Auction which he still operated at the time of his death. He was a member of the Men's Bible Study group for the past 30 plus years.
James married Jerry Gravitt in September of 1957 and made their home in Clovis area raising sheep and goats. James loved people and as many have said would give you the shirt off his back if you needed it worse than he did.
James is survived by his wife of 57 years, sons Gid (Lynette) and Tony of Clovis; Layton of Artesia and daughter Michele (Russell) Foster of Clovis. Grandchildren Starla (Nate) Jones of Yukon, OK; Justin and Jamie Foster, Rilee and Shaylee Priest all of Clovis; Valerie Collier and Buddy Boyles of OK. Great grandchildren, Makayla Jones, Meadow, Syklar and Trip Collier all of OK. Four sisters Helen(Allen) Kelley, Jo Priest, Peggy (Michael) Burns all of Clovis, Mary Lou Jesko of Yukon, OK and brother Butch (Kathy) Priest of Raton, NM, and numerous nieces, nephews and cousins.
He was preceded in death by his parents, grandson Jonathan Priest, daughter-in-law Roxanna, brother-in-law Tom Jesko and in-laws J. E. and Fanny Gravitt.
James will be greatly missed by his family, which upon last count are 56 in just the immediate family. He became the rock in the Priest family upon the deaths of his parents and family gatherings were close to his heart. On any given Sunday, he would call for get togethers because he cherished them all. As a close knit family, we all looked up to and admired James' big heart.
James wishes were to be cremated and laid at rest at the family farm and Pinon, NM. The family will be receiving visitors Tuesday, June 10, 2014, between 5:00 pm and 8 pm at 2309 Hammond, in Clovis. A celebration of his life will be held on Sat. July 5, 2014, at the Fellowship Hall of Kingswood UMC at 1:00pm.
In lieu of food and flowers the family request memorial contributions may be made to: Mens Bible Study c/o Peter Penney 3212 Duckworth, Clovis, New Mexico or Wounded Warriors Project, P O Box 758517, Topeka, Kansas 66675 or
2201 San Pedro NE, Albuquerque, New Mexico 87110.
Published in the Clovis News Journal on June 10, 2014