James Alan Jeffress, age 71, son of Jesse Russell and Bertha Lay Jeffress, was born Dec. 4, 1948, in Licking, Mo. The Lord called him home on Monday, Feb. 3, 2020.
Alan grew up in the Yukon community and attended grade school at Big Creek school. He attended high school in Houston and graduated with the class of 1966.
On Nov. 5, 1982, he married Deborah Jean Cole at First Free Will Baptist Church in Houston, Mo.
Alan professed his faith in Jesus Christ in 1998 at Ozark Baptist Church, and was later baptized in the Piney River at Simmons. He attended the United Methodist Church in Houston, Mo. Alan was very faithful in attending church and had not missed a Sunday since 1998.
Through the years, Alan worked for Miller’s Garage, Houston Redi-Mix, Chrysler and in Oklahoma on the oil rigs. He also did custom hay baling and worked on the family farm.
A veteran of the U.S. Army, Alan served his country in Vietnam.
He was preceded in death by his parents, father-in-law Wilferd Cole and mother-in-law Ireta Cole, and very special “fur-babies” PJ, Bubby and Grover.
Alan is survived by his wife of 37 years, Debbie; sister, Elizabeth Ann Pieper; sister-in-law Brenda Crail and her husband, Randy; many friends made through the years, and special “fur-babies” Rio and Benjamin.
Alan loved life. He never met a stranger and enjoyed visiting and reminiscing with family and friends, and sharing the “good word for the day.” He had a caring and giving spirit. He enjoyed growing a garden and sharing the produce with friends, baking hams, making apple crisp, fudge and pies that he would share with friends. It was a great enjoyment for him to see others enjoy what he had shared.
He looked forward to the annual trips he and Debbie took to “Amish Country” for sorghum and always brought back enough to share with friends. He enjoyed going to flea markets, equipment and machinery auctions, and Amish auctions. He loved going gigging and frying fish, which always tasted better down on the river. He also looked forward to deer camp and visiting with the deer hunters. There was always plenty of food, smoked pork butts, chicken wings, fried turkey and the all-time favorite, corn fritters. He enjoyed listening to the old time fiddle music; his favorite being J. E. Mainer and the Mountaineers.
He was always willing to help wherever needed. He was a very talented mechanic and could fix practically anything. He enjoyed bringing the “old” back to “new.”
Alan enjoyed the time he spent at the family farm – baling hay, gardening, his fruit tree orchard, growing cane for making sorghum and long walks he and Debbie took with their dogs, the cats would usually follow, too. Alan loved the simple things in life.
Alan and Debbie shared a good life together for 37 years and enjoyed life’s many blessings —- family, good friends, a good story and a good laugh.
Although he will be dearly missed by all who knew and loved him, we rejoice in knowing he is safe in the arms of Jesus; by God’s grace, the “old” is now “new.”
We miss you “BUGS.”
Those we love don’t go away,
They walk beside us every day.
Unseen, unheard, but always near.
Still loved, still missed,
And very dear.
Memorials are suggested to Gideon’s or St Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Online condolences may be expressed at www.evansfh.com.
Services are 10 a.m. Saturday Feb. 8, 2020, at Evans Funeral Home, Houston, with Rev Terry Lippstreu officiating. Burial with full military honors is in the Jefferess Family Cemetery under the direction of Evans Funeral Home.
Pallbearers are: Chance Drake, Jesse Autry, Steve Dyche, Billy Walsh, Justin Adey, Lewis Miller and Chris Smith. Honorary pallbearers were: Lance Couch, Albert Rideout, Freddie Adey, Eddie Smith, Brad Hooper, Len Clayton and Brayme Mosley.