Cover photo for Mr. James W. Bess's Obituary
Mr. James W. Bess Profile Photo
1921 Mr. 2015

Mr. James W. Bess

March 29, 1921 — September 27, 2015

James William “J.W.” Bess, 94, of Iola, Texas, passed away Sunday, September 27th in College Station. The family will accept callers from 5:00pm until 7:00pm, Wednesday, September 30th at Nobles Funeral Chapel. A celebration of his life will be held at 10:00am at Iola Missionary Baptist Church on Thursday, October 1st. Rev. Tim Owens will officiate. Interment will follow in Concord Cemetery in Bedias. Arrangements are under the direction of Nobles Funeral Chapel.
J. W. was born on March 29, 1921 in Iola, Texas to William Alexander Bess and Onzy Lillian (Pyle) Bess. Upon graduation, he worked for the CCC and tried the oil fields for a short while. He then enlisted in the U. S. Air Force and proudly served his country for 20 years, including the Korean War, until his retirement as a Master Sargeant. Shortly after enlisting, he married Mary Mallett. of Iola. The family was transferred several times to bases in Texas, where together they raised three daughters, Caroline, Jimmie and Linda. Prior to retirement from the military , he purchased some ranch land in his hometown of Iola. After retirement, J. W. also took on the responsibility of managing the large Harrison Ranch in Bedias for 15 years, after which he built a new home on his own piece of paradise. Unfortunately, shortly after the house was completed, he lost his wife to cancer. He then married Leona Druckhammer Burns in 1986. They raised cattle in Iola and in Marquette during their retirement years. He loved watching Western movies and reading western novels. J. W. adored his family and his church. He was a devout member of Iola Missionary Baptist Church and throughout his life, he served his church community as a Deacon, chairman of Sunday school and as a Sunday school teacher. He was a godly man, a genuine cowboy gentleman complete with the horse and hat. He loved pro football, but was always willing to turn off a good game if someone came to visit. J. W. was a hard working man, his word and handshake based on truth and integrity. His favorite pastime was a good game of 42, where he was a very tough opponent. He is survived by his wife of almost 30 years, Leona; daughters and sons-in-law Caroline and Rusty Jones of Uvalde; Linda and Wallace Rice of Bryan and Jimmie R. B. Coneley of Uvalde; grandchildren Jae Thompson, Jody Jones and Jarret Jones; Trevor Rice and Lacey Karstens, Brandon Coneley and Ann Coneley-Grinnell, Kellie Stewart and Quentin Burns; as well as numerous great-grandchildren, nieces and nephews. He is survived by his wife of almost 30 years, Leona; daughters and sons-in-law Caroline and Rusty Jones of Uvalde; Linda and Wallace Rice of Bryan and Jimmie R. B. Coneley of Uvalde; grandchildren Jae Thompson, Jody Jones and Jarret Jones; Trevor Rice and Lacey Karstens, Brandon Coneley and Ann Coneley-Grinnell, Kellie Stewart and Quentin Burns; as well as numerous great-grandchildren, nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents; first wife Mary Mallett Bess; Bell Zora “Grandma” Wells Pyle; brother Oris Bill “Sparky” Bess and granddaughter Jeri Linn Jones.
Serving as pallbearers are Quentin Burns of Plantersville, Jarret Jones of Uvalde, Bob Bess of Bandera, Danny Mallett of Iola, Rusty Jones of Uvalde and Mitchell Beene of Iola. Trevor Rice, Roger Burns, Ed Stewart, Gordon Coneley, Brandon Coneley and Jody Jones will serve as honorary pallbearers.
The family invites you to leave kind words and fond memories at www.noblesfuneral.com .
To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Mr. James W. Bess, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Visitation

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

5:00 - 7:00 pm (Central time)

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Service

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Starts at 10:00 am (Central time)

Iola Missionary Baptist Church

23471 Farm to Market 244, Iola, TX 77861

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