James Deere Jr., 79, of Locust Grove, passed away on Sunday, February 12, 2023, at his home. He was born on March 30, 1943, in Holdenville, Oklahoma, to James A. Deere, Sr. and Cora Jean (Thomas) Wesley. Upon graduation from Chilocco Indian School, he faithfully served in the U.S. Army. During his 12 years of service, he was sent to Vietnam and spent time stationed in Germany. On June 1, 1966, he married the love of his life, Eliza Spade at the Glorietta Church in Oklahoma City and they spent many wonderful years together until her passing in 2020. James was also known as “Young Man” at the Fishpond Ceremonial Grounds. He loved to listen to blues music, especially when it came to BB King and even landed the nickname, “Soul Chief.” He was a member of New Jordan Church where he enjoyed spending time with his church family and served as a Deacon. He was a family man and enjoyed the time he was able to spend with his family. He loved family dinners and was well known for eating and cooking pigs’ feet as that was his specialty. A loving dad, grandpa, brother, and friend, he leaves behind many wonderful memories to be cherished and will be dearly missed by all who knew and loved him.
Funeral services for James will be held at 2:00 p.m., Monday, February 20, 2023, in the Shipman’s Funeral Home Chapel with Reverend Venice Hilderbrand officiating. Burial will follow at Grass Cemetery in Salina with Erik Bird, Corey Reese, Jesse Grant, Timmy Sell, Devin Gump Mack, and Diggity Mack serving as casket bearers. Honorary casket bearers will be Craig Hodge, Glen Gibbs, Kendall “Jumbo” Tiger, Marvin Budder, Phillip Summerfield, Joyce McCarter, Dalton Downing, and Gordon Snell. A wake service will be held from 3:00 p.m. until 5:00 p.m., Sunday, February 19, 2023, in the Shipman’s Funeral Home Chapel. To leave his family a message, please visit his Guestbook at www.shipmansfuneralhome.com. Arrangements are under the direction of Shipman’s Funeral & Cremation Service of Pryor.
He is survived by his sons, James Deere of Holdenville, OK, Lance Deere of Jay, OK, and Bert Deere; daughters, Connie Deere of Little Kansas, OK; brothers, Glen Gibbs and wife Nelsie of Wewoka, OK, and Eddy Jo Lewis of Goldsboro, NC; sisters, Alice Mack of Cromwell, OK, Emma Jean Bowles of Warner Robins, GA, and Sandy Hodge and husband Craig of El Reno, OK; 16 grandkids; and 14 great grandkids. He is preceded in death by his parents, James Deere, Sr. and Cora Jean Wesley; wife, Eliza Deere; grandparents, Thomas Deere and Emma Harrison; brothers, Larry Johnson, and J.D. Deere; and great granddaughters, Kaylee White, and Zoey Lynn Deere.