Jesse Alfred James, a Jamestown resident for 35 years, passed away April 25, 2018, surrounded by family and friends. Jesse was born Nov. 28, 1931, in Wonder, Oregon, to the late John and Treny James. He was a legend in his lifetime. He was a talented and creative father, son, brother, uncle, grandpa, great grandpa; and a loving person. Jesse was a strong leader and provider, and gave his many talents to his family and community.
Jesse graduated Summerville High School in 1950. He joined the U.S. Navy in 1951, serving in Guam and Sasebo, Japan, on the USS Maddox destroyer and in the Korean War.
He married Dorothea James in 1954 and they raised a beautiful family. When they parted ways, Jesse met his new companion of 48 years, Betty James.
He retired from the U.S. Forest Service, working in the shipping and receiving department, which he loved. He was also a cattle rancher, owning 58 beef cattle, which he and the family loved. The ranch was a great place to relax and enjoy good memories. His favorites dogs were Smokey, Dingo, and Peaches. After he retired, he started Jesse James Express Trucking business.
Jesse was a Tribal Member and on the board of Elders for the Tuolumne Band of Me-Wuk Indians, and a Moose Member in the community for 22 years. He was Grand Marshall for the Tuolumne Lumber Jubilee.
He brought much love to his family, friends and community through his heritage and music. Country music was his passion! He played lead guitar and sang songs continuously throughout his life, creating “Jesse James and the Outlaws” band.
Jesse is survived by his children, Sharon Andreasian, Ronald James, Debbie James (Butch Thomas) and Jesse Orlin James; niece, Betina James; 11 grandchildren; 14 great grandchildren; numerous nieces and nephews; siblings, Barbara James Persson and Paul James.
He was preceded in death by his longtime companion, Betty James; ex-wife, Dorothea James; his parents, John and Treny James; son, Steven Reynolds; and siblings, Melva Hastings, Harold James, John James Jr., and Leonard James.
Jesse was loved by his family, friends and community and will be greatly missed.
A viewing will be held from 1-8 p.m., May 1, 2018, at Terzich and Wilson Funeral Home in Tuolumne, CA. A service will be held at 1 p.m., May 2, 2018, at Tuolumne Veterans Memorial Hall in Tuolumne, CA.