James Merriman “Jim” Jeffords, Sr., 78, of Wilmington, passed away Friday, May 10, 2013 at Lower Cape Fear Hospice & LifeCareCenter.
Born in Wilmington, he was a son of the late Everett Freeland Jeffords, Sr. and Mary Ethel Capps Jeffords. He was a Veteran of the US Air Force, having served in the Korean War. After being honorably discharged from the Air Force, he worked for the Wilmington “Star-News” printing department and then was the owner and operator of Jackson & Bell Printing Company for 25 years. Jim was an Honorary Lifetime Board Member of the Winter Park Optimist Club where he served as a past board member and was active in the club for over 30 years. Children seemed to migrate towards him and he had a passion for helping kids through the Yahweh Center, and coached Little League for many years and directed the Babe Ruth Bambino World Series in 1989. James was also the photographer for many of the area youth sports programs for several years. He was an officer with the Wilmington Jaycees, was on the board of Southern National Bank, the Sea Hawk Club, and was active in many other community organizations throughout his life. He was a member and a past Deacon of Pine Valley Baptist Church.
Surviving, are his wife of 58 years, Juanita Surles Jeffords of the home; a son, James M. Jeffords, Jr. (Kellie) of Tallahassee, FL; two daughters, Cheryl L. McKeithan (Bobby), Jamie E. Grimes (fiancé Will Schatzle) all of Wilmington; eight grandchildren, Travis McKeithan, Robby McKeithan, Michael Derrick Grimes, II, Jason Grimes, Alexandra Jeffords, Ryan Jeffords, Matthew Jeffords, Katie Jeffords; three great-grandchildren, Camryn Grimes, Jason Grimes, II, Caroline Grimes; two great-grandchildren on the way; and numerous special nieces and nephews. In addition to his parents, he was predeceased by four brothers, Phillip Jeffords, Otis Jeffords, Marian Jeffords, Buddy Jeffords; and a sister, Martha Burnett.
Funeral services will be 1 pm Tuesday, at Pine Valley Baptist Church with Reverend Chuck Love officiating. Entombment, with Military Honors, will follow in Oleander Memorial Gardens.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Pine Valley Baptist Church; 3940 Shipyard Boulevard, Wilmington, NC 28403 or to Lower Cape Fear Hospice Foundation; 1406 Physicians Drive; Wilmington, NC 28401.
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Wilmington Funeral & Cremation, 1535 S. 41st Street, Wilmington, NC 28403 910.791.9099