Jess Ainsworth was born March 20, 1918 in Mt. Pleasant, Texas, the son of James & Charlotte (Carr) Ainsworth. He had one brother, and three sisters. He finished High School in Mt. Pleasant and attended Prairie View College in Prairie View, Texas, a historically black college. After finishing Prairie View College, Jess enlisted in the Army Air Corps and was recruited for the first racially-integrated Officer Training Program in the U.S. Army Air Corps. He served in the military for 25 years and retired at the rank of Lt. Colonel in 1970. During his military career, Jess served in many different countries and locations, including Korea, the Philippine Islands, Japan, Hawaii, Norway, Sacramento, CA, and Amarillo, TX, before retiring in Denver. In 1954, he met the love of his life, Henriette Matulessy, and they married and had two children, Willard Hendrik and James Reader Ainsworth. He is survived by his wife, Henriette, son James, grandson Morris, daughter Sharon (from a previous marriage) and her children, Avery and Alex, and his sister, Juanita. Visitation Monday, May 19 from 7 to 9 p.m. at Olinger Hampden Mortuary. Memorial services Thursday, May 22 at 11 a.m. at Park Hill United Methodist Church.
Published in Denver Post on May 18, 2008