James (Jim) Merriman Jeffords, Sr.

May 26, 1934 - May 10, 2013
James (Jim) Merriman Jeffords, Sr.

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.

Please share memories and condolences with the family by clicking on the “Sign Guest Book” tab above.

Wilmington Funeral & Cremation, 1535 S. 41st Street, Wilmington, NC 28403 910.791.9099


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  • May 13, 2013
    Rob Lowers says:
    My thoughts are with you and your family. I am so sorry for you loss.

  • May 13, 2013
    Mark Pepper says:
    Cheryl, my thoughts and prayers go out to you and your family.

  • May 13, 2013
    Joseph Clark says:
    Cheryl my heart, thoughts and prayers are with you and the family.

  • May 12, 2013
    Milo and Val Richter says:
    To my Aunt Juanita and cousins, I can just about imagine all the smiles as Uncle Jeff gathers with the Heavenly Father and all his dear friends and family that greeted him at the gates! Heaven is truely Blessed to have such a GREAT addition to the list of Angels.....and we must all remember, some day we will join all of them in a place SO much better......and our happy family will continue! Please know that The Lord will be by your side as you journey throw this difficult time. We will hold you all in our prayers as well.

  • May 14, 2013
    Bill & Cindy Goodwyn says:
    Bill and I both have many fond memories of Jim Jeffords, as a boss, as a mentor and as a friend. He was such a fun-loving person who loved to make others happy. He was so giving of his time. He will be missed. I guess now he really does have a bottomless cup of coffee...love and peace to the family from some really old friends.