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Jess Willard Walling was born on January 17, 1924 to Jesse & Florence Walling and his older sister Theone in Dunbar, West Virginia. He was nicknamed "Jack" by his family at an early age. He died peacefully at home in Pasadena, California on October 26, 2013 with his loving wife of 69 years, Theresa Fran (Miller) Walling at his side. He is preceded in death by his parents and sister, and his son, Dana Walling. He is
survived by his daughter Dee Anne Tate (Phil), daughter Lou Ann Martin (Russ), grandson Aaron Walling (Debora), granddaughters Nicole Walling Morales (Horacio), Rebecca Tate Keene (Randy), Rachel Tate, and Renee Tate Eddy (Daniel). He had 4.5 great grandchildren: Bear, Olivia Morales and twins Isaac and Evelyn Eddy and baby girl due in March, 2014 to Aaron and Debora Walling. "Papaw" as his children and grandchildren called him will miss his loving smile, his kindness and generosity, and his funny jokes and sayings.
He attended school in Dunbar and graduated from South Charleston High School, West Virginia. He enrolled in Trevecca Nazarene College (Nashville, TN) in 1941 and then joined the Navy as a medical corpsman and served for the duration of WW II. Jess enrolled in Pasadena Nazarene College (now Point Loma Nazarene University) after the war and graduated in 1950. He received his B.S. from Loma Linda University and became a licensed lab technician. Although he worked as a lab technician at various hospitals in the LA area and in New Mexico, Jess' first love was teaching having taught science classes for Pasadena Nazarene College and then La Canada High School where he retired after 17 years. He also loved coaching softball and basketball at La Canada High School where he was a valued leader and loved by his students. He had the nickname "Ag Fox" (Ag being the chemical symbol for silver) because of his white head of hair. Many students also called him "Uncle Jess". After his retirement he came back to teach at a Point Loma Nazarene University extension campus in the area as a teacher educator and student teacher supervisor.
Jess was a life-long member of the Church of the Nazarene and a long-time member of Pasadena First Church of the Nazarene. Being a pastor's kid himself and knowing firsthand the life of the clergy home, he supported, valued, and prayed for the ministry, role, and position of every pastor of every church he attended. He served as board member, usher, missions' president, Sunday School teacher, and all around encourager to other believers.
There will be a memorial service honoring the life of Jess Walling at Pasadena First Church of the Nazarene, Lee Chapel on Saturday, November 16 at 3 :00pm. Refreshment reception to follow in Gilmore Hall.
Published in Pasadena Star-News on Nov. 15, 2013