ODESSA James Walter Cleghorn passed away on Sunday, March 10, 2013, at the Van Horn Hospice House in Odessa, Texas.|
He was such a good husband, daddy, Papa and friend.
He was born in Roscoe, Texas, on October 9, 1927, to Gus and Mary Cleghorn. When James was 9 years old, his Dad bought a farm and moved the family to Snyder, Texas. He enjoyed a country upbringing, learning how to grow crops and raise livestock with his parents. As a boy, a favorite hobby was building and flying model airplanes. He also began learning the skill of carpentry and built the barns on the farm and a new house for the family.
James graduated in 1945 from Snyder High School. He continued his education in Lubbock, Texas. He attended Texas Tech, where he earned a Bachelors of Science Degree in Education. He majored in English and finished by earning a Master's Degree in Education. His first teaching position was in the small Texas town of Fluvanna. He moved to Odessa in 1955 and lived in the Van Horn Boarding House for teachers. He taught school at Crockett Jr. High for the next 8 years. During this time he started building homes in the Odessa area while he wasn't teaching, including his longtime family home.
He married Clarice Russell on June 3, 1956. Together they had 2 daughters, Shonna and Lisha. He continued his teaching career at Odessa High School, where he taught English for nearly 30 additional years until he retired. James also drove a school bus to Goldsmith for ECISD and taught a reading class at Odessa Jr. College.
Weekends and summers were also busy for him, as he continued to farm, raise cattle and build houses for many years. He did take time to spend with his family and friends, whom he thought so much of. For several years a favorite past time for him was spending the early mornings drinking coffee and visiting with friends at Warfield Truck Stop. It was there that he earned the nickname, "Professor."
James is survived by his wife of 56 years, Clarice; daughters, Shonna Schmid and husband Klaus and Lisha Cleghorn; grandchildren, Cody Hadaway, Adryan Hildreth, Tye Castleberry, Tyler Schmid, Travis Schmid, Aaron Schmid and Chelsea Schmid; great-grandchildren, Anijah Hildreth, Austin Castleberry and Ashley Edwards; and several cousins, nieces and nephews. He will be sorely missed.
Funeral services will be held at 2:00 PM Thursday, March 14, 2013, at Sunset Memorial Funeral Home Chapel in Odessa with Larry Hood officiating. Burial will be at 2:00 PM Friday, March 15, 2013, at the Snyder Cemetery in Snyder, Texas.
Funeral arrangements are under the direction of Sunset Funeral Home.
To sign the guest book, go to our website at www.sunsetodessa.com.
Published in Odessa American on Mar. 13, 2013