DORCHESTER - J.W. was born Wednesday, August 19, 1931 in Tom Bean, Texas to Lonnie and Jessie (Perkins) Ham and suddenly passed away on Thursday, February 20, 2014 in Plano, Texas at the age of 82.|
The son of sharecroppers, J. W. was raised in Tom Bean working on the family farm. J.W. enlisted with the U.S. Army from 1951-1956 and was honorably discharged as Sergeant. He then came back home and worked for Burlington for several years and later opened 3 gas stations in Howe that he co-owned/managed. Several years later he went to west Texas and worked for American Cotton Growers where he met and married Frances Harris on February 6, 1978 at Littlefield.
The next day the newlyweds came to Howe to make their home and J.W. went to work for Hitchcock. In recent years, J.W. filled his time going to flea markets which he raised and sold poultry. He enjoyed helping any of the grandchildren with showing their animals for FFA. He was very involved with the VFW and loved the outdoors.
His greatest joy was being with all his family and grandkids.
Mr. Ham was preceded in death by his parents, siblings Spurgeon Hickman, James Ham, Billy Joe Ham, Jerry Wayne Ham, Patsy Goldston, Sarah Mae Ham, and Pearl Pittman.
He is survived by his wife of 36 years Frances of Dorchester, son J.W. Ham Jr.(Carol) of Howe, daughter Sheila Wilson (Johnny) of Monroe, GA, daughter Michele McDonald of Amarillo, daughter Darla Kraph (John) of Howe, son John Ham of Dorchester, daughter Catherine Terry (Steven) of Denton, son Orville Haynes (Christy) of Dorchester, daughter Emma Young of Dumas, son Dale Haynes (Gala) of Denison, daughter Lisa Watson (Brent) of Gunter, and son Charles Ham of Howe; 30 grandchildren, numerous great grandchildren, one great-great grandchild, brother Bobby Ray Ham (Rosa) of Tom Bean, sister Imogene Henshaw (Wilburn) of Arlington, brother Altis Dewayne Ham (Ginger) of Dorchester, brother- in-law Loy Goldston, and sister-in-law Laray Ham; numerous nephews, nieces, and close cousins.
Services to celebrate J.W.'s life will be held at 2 p.m. Monday, Feb. 24, in the Waldo Funeral Home chapel with Pastor Dennis Stewart officiating. Interment will follow at White Mound Cemetery near Tom Bean, with grandsons serving as active pallbearers and honorary pallbearers.
Mr. Ham was one of the founding fathers of the Howe Fire Station and with utmost respect, the procession will be lead with a fire truck to his final resting place.
The family will receive friends from 4 - 6 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 23, at Waldo Funeral Home.
Published in The Herald Democrat from Feb. 23 to Feb. 24, 2014