Jesse Thomas Jeffries, 86, Carthage, passed away Thursday, Oct. 4, 2012 at the Truman Care Center, Lamar, Mo.

Jesse Thomas Jeffries, 86, Carthage, passed away Thursday, Oct. 4, 2012 at the Truman Care Center, Lamar, Mo. 

Jesse was born March 11, 1926, the 12th child of James N. and Effie Gordon Jeffries. He was a graduate of Lamar High School, class of 1944 and was a U.S. Air Force veteran during WWII from 1944-1946.  After the service, Jesse bought and ran a Phillips 66 station in Lamar and married Vera Paugh on Nov. 14, 1948.  

Jesse and Vera moved to Carthage in 1953 and Jesse started his career with Lumber Specialty Company, later to become TAPJAC Inc., a career which lasted 31 years.  After leaving TAPJAC, he became partners with Vic Wardlow as owners of Frontier Markets in Joplin for the next nine years before retiring.  In addition to his family, Jesse had two passions in his life:  the study, learning, and teaching of the Bible and sports.  

For decades he was a member of the Roundtable Sunday school class, lay speaker for Kendricktown Methodist Church, and Bible study leader, wearing out several Bibles in the process.  

He was an avid sportsman, enjoying hunting, fishing, baseball, basketball, and football.  After high school, he and four of his brothers formed an independent basketball team that played in the area. Jesse later coached Little League baseball and Pee Wee football teams.

He loved being retired and enjoyed spending time with the “MO 71 Coffee Club” at the Carthage Deli, solving the world’s problems.  Survivors include his wife of 63 years; Vera, three daughters;  Rella Jeffries, Joplin,  Keri (Danny) Brown, Shell Knob, and Lana Smith, Concord, Calif.; one son, Kevin (Barb) Jeffries, Dallas, Texas; one sister, Ruth Newman, Carthage; one brother, Robert Jeffries, Lamar;  eight grandchildren and six great grandchildren and many nieces and nephews.
Funeral services will be held at 2 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 9, 2012 at the First United Methodist Church, Carthage. Rev. James Lee will officiate. Interment will be in Hackney Cemetery, northeast of Carthage. Memorial gifts are suggested to the First United Methodist Church, Carthage or charity of your choice.

Online condolences may be expressed through Arrangements are under the direction and personal care of Knell Mortuary, Carthage, Mo.