Services for Elmer Jesse James Jr., 79, Lawrence, are pending and will be announced by Rumsey-Yost Funeral Home.
He died April 4, 2022, at LMH Health.
Elmer Jesse James, Jr., 79, of Lawrence, KS, passed away on April 4, 2022 surrounded by family and loved ones at Lawrence Memorial Hospital.
In February 1974, Elmer started a family with his wife Judy. Depending on which one you asked, their anniversary was on the 23rd (Elmer) or the 24th (Judy) of that month.
Elmer is survived by Judy, their three kids and their spouses: Dale James (Becca), Misty Jensen (Roger), and Elmer “Jesse” James, III (Alyson). He is also survived by three granddaughters: Laken James, Kristina James, and Alexis Jensen, as well as four greatgranddaughters. In addition, he is survived by three of his siblings: Judy, Steve, and Gary.
Elmer was preceded in death by his parents, Elmer Sr. and Kathryn and his brother Larry.
Elmer was born on August 15, 1942 to Elmer Sr. and Kathryn James in Omaha, NE. After graduating from Lawrence High School in 1960, he went on to work in the automotive industry for the rest of his life. He owned and operated James Gang Automotive and James Gang Auto Sales for over 40 years, the last few years working closely with his cousin Larry. After “retiring” in 2021, Elmer went on to continue to tinker on anything with a motor in his home repair shop.
Elmer did not only fix cars, but he also raced them all over the Midwest, including at the Lawrence Dragway and Midwest Raceway in Manhattan, KS. Elmer continued racing well into his 60s and was a dedicated NHRA and NASCAR fan who would get into spirited debates with his family and friends over who was the best racer.
In addition to all things cars and racing, Elmer was also a sports enthusiast and was often found cheering for the University of Kansas Jayhawks, the Kansas City Chiefs, and the Kansas City Royals. Although Elmer passed before the Jayhawks won their most recent national championship, his family is sure he was cheering on the ‘hawks from above and questioning the referees strongly.
Elmer didn’t just watch sports though, he also was an avid fisherman going on multiple trips a year with family and friends to Minnesota and Arkansas. He also bowled and passed along his love of the game to his children, including bowling league with his two sons. Other hobbies included, gardening, watching his kids play sports, and plowing snow for his neighborhood.
Elmer was a devoted husband, a loving father, and a loyal friend and neighbor. He will be missed by all who knew him, but will never be far from the hearts of his loved ones.
The James family would like to thank the amazing doctors and nurses at the Internal Medicine Group at LMH Health. Doctor Christopher Brychel took wonderful care of Elmer over the last few years and they will always be eternally grateful. Additionally, the Jameses want to thank Doctor Rebecca Smith for her compassion who cared for Elmer in the last few days of his life. The family would also like to thank Bob and Patsy Moody for their support during this difficult time.
A service to honor this great man will be on Sunday, April 10 at 2:00pm at Rumsey-Yost Funeral Home. A visitation will follow directly after the service around 2:30pm.
In lieu of flowers, please send memorial donations to Rumsey-Yost Funeral Home (P.O. Box 1260, Lawrence, KS 66044). The family will designate to sponsored charities that were close to Elmer’s heart.
We may not have it all together, but together we have it all. We love and miss you, Elmer, Jim, Elmo, Dad, Pop, Grandpa, Papa.