James Louis Wehar, age 78, a resident of rural Deerfield, Mo., passed away suddenly Sunday, Dec. 27, 2009, at the Mercy Health Center in Fort Scott, Kan. He was born Oct. 29, 1931, in rural Bates County, Mo., the son of Louis Wehar and Mary Malis Wehar. James attended a four-room elementary school in Worland, Mo., and high school in Pleasanton, Kan., leaving early to enlist in the United States Army. He served his country in the Korean War where he received the Purple Heart. After spending several weeks in the hospital in Japan, he returned to the United States where he received his honorable discharge from military service. The major portion of his working career was spent in construction as a tuck pointer for Mid-Continental Waterproofing and Construction Co. of Fort Scott where he worked from 1955 to 1983. He was able to fulfill his heart's desire by becoming a small business owner/operator, the final and current one being The Trailblazer Package Liquor Store. James or "Big Jim" as his friends called him enjoyed spending any spare time he had fishing especially with long-time friends, John Morris and Clark "Red" Holt. He was happy and proud to introduce fishing and nurture the love of it to his granddaughter, Samantha Jordan "Sambo" Hunt, who was the love of his life.
James first married Mabel Ruby. She preceded him in death on July 17, 1975. He later married Stella Durossette on Jan. 25, 1977, and to this union, one daughter, Michelle Bolinn was born Stella preceded him in death on Jan. 3, 2009.
Survivors include his children Michelle Hunt and husband, Lawrence "Trey" Hunt III of Fort Scott, Ralph Ruby, McAllen, Texas, June Brumbaugh, Long Beach, Miss., Bobby Miller, Fort Scott, Sue Rasmussen, Moundville, Mo., and Button Wise, Fort Scott; 17 grandchildren and 25 great-grandchildren. Also surviving are his siblings, Charles Wehar and wife, Fay and George Wehar and wife, Connie, both of Hume, Mo., Rosemary Eldred and husband, Bill, Butler, Mo.; and an aunt Louise Roggo, Tuscumbia, Mo.; as well as numerous extended nieces and nephews and many friends. In addition to his wives, he was preceded in death by his parents and a sister and brother-in-law, Margie and Loren Duffield.
The Rev. Chuck Russell will conduct funeral services at 1:30 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 31, at the Cheney Witt Memorial Chapel. Burial will follow in the U.S. National Cemetery where military honors will be provided by the Olson Frary Burkhart Post No. 1165 Veterans of Foreign Wars. The family will receive friends from 6 to 8 p.m. Wednesday at the Cheney Witt Chapel. Memorials are suggested to the James Wehar Memorial Fund and may be left in care of the Cheney Witt Chapel, 201 S. Main, P.O. Box 347, Fort Scott, KS 66701. Words of remembrance may be submitted to the online guestbook at www.cheneywitt. com.