James Walter “Jim” Meese, Junior, formerly of Crawford County, 89 passed away on Tuesday, October 31, 2017 in Sebring, FL. He leaves his wife of 62 years, the love of his life, Glendeth (Hildebrand) Meese of Avon Park, FL; his son Craig (Josette) Meese of Lafayette, LA; his son Scott (Linda) Meese of Spring Hill, TN; and a daughter, Lori (Kevin) Kemp of Avon Park, FL. He also leaves three beloved grandsons, Matt (Holly) Kemp of Rogers, AR; Michael (Shannon) Kemp of Henrico, VA; and Daniel Meese of Spring Hill, TN; as well as 4 great grandchildren, Andrew Kemp (10); Preston Kemp (3); Noelle Kemp (2) and Victoria Kemp (1), who called him “Great Papa”.
Jim was born on June 25 in Brooks Hospital in Robinson, IL to Walter and Evelyn (Miller) Meese. He was a member of Bible Chapel Christian Church. The oldest of their seven children, he is reunited in heaven with his sisters Erma Francis (Harold) Martin and Barbara (Jerry) Harmon. He is survived by three sisters – Shirley (Jack) Harmon of Alhambra, IL; Linda (Harold) Faruli of Fulshear, TX; and Sandy Meese of Fulshear, TX - and his brother Leroy (Sue) Meese of Benson, AZ. He also leaves brothers-in-law Norman (Pat) Hildebrand, of Newton, and Vernon (Martha) Hildebrand, of Newton; and a sister-in-law, Sandra (Kent) Farley, also of Newton. Following graduation from Robinson High School, he served in the U.S. Army. Jim spent his time outside of a 38- year career with Marathon Oil Company giving passionately to the town he loved. He was a long-standing and founding member of Oak Glen Golf Course and Oblong Gun Club, and the years he spent coaching in the Oblong Girls’ Softball League helped to establish the sport in the community.
Forever a child at heart, Jim was happiest when organizing a backyard game of baseball, hauling a truck-load of kids to the sledding hills, or leading a family in a spirited game of “Handy Over” – a game he played with his younger siblings where there are no losers, and everyone ends playing for the winning team. He filled his life – and all of our lives – with humor and love, and leaves a legacy of warmth, friendship and fun. The example that he set as a husband, father, and mentor will resonate through generations.