Retired Lt Colonel James Leroy Jester, 78 of Amarillo, TX went to be with the Lord on January 12, 2024, in Dumas, TX.
Visitation with the family will be from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., Friday, January 19, 2024, at Boxwell Brothers Funeral Home, 2800 Paramount Blvd.
The funeral service will be at 10:00 a.m., Saturday, January 20, 2024, in Boxwell Brothers Ivy Chapel with Jim Benton officiating. Military rites are provided by Volleys for Veterans. Burial will be in Llano Cemetery.
James Leroy Jester was born Sept 16th, 1945, in Clovis, NM to George (Buck) and Viola (Polly) Jester. He accepted the Lord as his personal Savior in October 1955 at Forrest Heights Baptist Church in Clovis, NM. Not long after, he met the love of his life, Linda, while playing baseball in a vacant lot. They started dating when they were 19 and on June 2, 1966, James married Linda Palmateer in Clovis, NM. They remained happily married for more than 57 years.
James was a 1963 Clovis High School graduate. He went on to graduate as a distinguished military graduate from WTAMU in 1967, with a degree in government. He was commissioned into the Army as a 2nd Lt. In 1972, he received his Master’s from OU in race relations.
Before retiring from the Army in November 1995, he served at Fort Hood, Texas; Ft. Knox, Kentucky; Ansbach, Germany; Goeppingen, Germany; Vietnam; Fort Benjamin Harrison, Indiana; and Fort Sill, Oklahoma. He spent 10 years in active duty and 18 years in the reserves. He served his final role as the Battalion Commander of the 2nd/89th Field Artillery Regiment in Amarillo as a Lt Colonel.
His military achievements include the Bronze Star, Meritorious Service Medal, Air Medal, Army Commendation Medal, Army Achievement Medal, Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry, Vietnam Campaign Medal, Vietnam Service Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Army Reserve Components Achievement Medal, Armed Forces Reserve Medal, Indian Commendation Medal, and the Vietnam Civil Action Medal.
After leaving active duty, James became a nursing home administrator for 8 years. He then went on to work for 25 years for the US Postal Service in Amarillo and retired in 2010.
James loved spending time with his family. He especially loved to spoil his grandkids and great-grandkids. He loved watching his grandkids play sports and attended various school concerts and plays. James was a loyal Buff and loved attending sporting events at West Texas A&M, especially softball.
When he wasn’t spending time with his family, James loved going pawn shopping. He could find just about anything while shopping there. He also loved a good power tool. His shop was full of interesting and unique tools, which he sadly gave up following his Parkinson’s Disease diagnosis in 2011. Still, he loved to be in the fray when someone was doing a project-especially if it involved power tools.
He was a member of Coulter Road Baptist Church for over 40 years where he served as a deacon and Sunday school teacher. Those that knew James knew him as an extraordinarily generous person who used his talents to bless and benefit others. He was a great example of someone that had a servant’s heart.
He was preceded in death by his parents, George and Viola Jester.
He is survived by his wife Linda of Amarillo; a daughter Tonya Cordell and husband Cole of Choctaw, OK and a son Dr. Shaun Jester and wife Lara of Dumas, TX; a brother Melvin Jester and wife Virginia of Cuero TX; 2 sisters, Janice Gossett and husband Leroy of Ft Worth, TX and Sharon Cole and husband Ron of Newnan, GA. He was blessed with 5 grandchildren: Haly Craft and husband Taylor of Choctaw, OK; Ryan Cordell and wife Holly of Amarillo, TX; Alyx Cordell of Stephenville, TX; Grace Jester of Nashville, TN; and Hope Jester of Dumas, TX. He also was blessed with 4 great-grandchildren: Mayson, Britton, and Madilyn Craft of Choctaw, OK and Charlie Cordell of Amarillo. He is also survived by many wonderful nieces and nephews.
His family would like to extend a special thank you to the staff of Memorial Nursing and Rehab Center in Dumas, TX for their exceptional care and consideration for James during his stay there.
If you would like to make a donation in memory of James, please do so to Coulter Road Baptist Church of Amarillo or to the Memorial Nursing and Rehab Center in Dumas, TX.