Jackie “Jack” Junior James, 90, of Chariton, passed away peacefully at Lucas County Health Center on Thursday, October 19, 2023. A funeral service for Jack will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Wednesday, October 25, at Pierschbacher Funeral Home in Chariton. A visitation will begin at 10:00 a.m. prior to the service at the funeral home. Jack will be laid to rest at St. Mary’s Cemetery in Woodburn with military honors.
Jack, son of Johnnie and Geneva (Waugh) James made his grand entrance into the world on March 3, 1933, at 3:00 p.m. during a detoured visit to the Vertz’s family farm in Woodburn, Iowa. He attended school at Wren Hill Lucas Elementary, Catholic school in Kansas City, Ottawa School, and high school in Woodburn. During high school, Jack was involved in Glee Club, basketball, and was Senior Class President before graduating in 1951. While attending a basketball game in February of 1953, Jack met eyes with a beautiful blue-eyed blonde. He told his friend, “Hey, there’s the one for me!” He attempted to find her after the game was over but was unsuccessful. Thanks to mutual friends, he was eventually able to find this mystery woman and arranged for a date. Although his initial attempt was a “wrong Marilyn”, he later met up with Marilyn Marie Sellers. It was love at first sight and knew they were destined to spend their lives together after sharing a Coke. Jack and Marilyn were united in marriage September 5, 1953, at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Woodburn.
Jack was employed as a county surveyor but a month after marrying the love of his life, he was drafted by the Army. He was inducted October 13, 1953, at which time, he completed basic training and Tractor Scraper training at Fort Leonard Wood, MO. He was then promoted to corporal while serving with the 1903rd Engineer Artillery Battalion in the U.S. Army (SCARWAF) Special Category Army Reassigned with the Air Force during the Korean Conflict from 1954 - 1955. His family grew as they were blessed to have the addition of Diane Rae in July 1954. Upon active duty discharge October 12, 1955, he returned with his family in reserve status to Osceola, Ia. He returned to his Clarke County employment as a surveyor. He later went to work for Borden’s Dairy in 1957- 1972. In April 1957, him and Marilyn’s proven love for one another provided another bundle of joy, Kevin Edward. Furthermore, employment included Anderson Erickson Dairy from 1972-1989, where Jack retired as a dedicated milkman for a total of 32 years. He couldn’t sit still, so he went to work for Chariton Community Schools as a janitor (aka “the candy man”) from 1989 - 1996. He held various jobs for many years thereafter.
Jack’s love for the Lord and his family were known to all. He was a devoted husband, father, grandfather, great grandfather, family man and friend. He also enjoyed tractors which lead to him becoming a Charter Member with the Chariton River Valley Antique Tractor Club. Him and Marilyn also enjoyed being active with the American Pencil Collectors Society. Jack is survived by his wife, Marilyn; two children, Diane (Addison) of Osceola and Kevin James of Red Oak; daughter-in-law, Debbie James; grandchildren: Jeremy James, Travis Addison, Lindsey (James) Weinburgh, and Troy Addison; great-grandchildren: Mary-Sue, James, Ashley, Anna, Jameson, Tatianna, George, Jack, and Maisie; and a large circle of other relatives and friends.
Jack was preceded in death by his parents, stepmother, a sister, stepbrothers, son-in law, Mark Addison, and many more.
Memorials may be made to the family to be designated at a later date.