Our Sincere Sympathy

Jesse V. Epperson
March 22, 1923 - September 2, 2004
 Jess Epperson was a good man, he was umpire & referee for many of our baseball & basketball games when I was growing up at Moss School - I also played one summer of American Legion Baseball with Jess Epperson as my coach. He was also our Mailman for many years when we were growing up at Horntown, Okla. But most of all he was a good friend and an excellent role model for all of us who knew him -- Jerry Summy

      Funeral services for Holdenville resident, Jesse V. Epperson, were held Saturday, September 4, 2004, 10:30 am at the First Christian Church with Kevin Worden officiating. Pallbearers were Ronnie Stringfellow, Randy Denny, Richard Nolen, Harold Gordon, Jake Rhoades and Bobby Rhoades.  Honorary bearers were Jimmy Rodgers, Bill Arthur, Kenneth Hull and John Stirman.  Jess was laid to rest at Holdenville Cemetery under the direction of Hudson-Phillips Funeral Home.
     Jess was born March 22, 1923 in Ada, Oklahoma to Thomas Epperson and Maggie Davis Epperson. He was raised in Lawrence, south of Ada, and graduated from high school at Fitzhugh.  Jess attended East Central University for three years. Jess Epperson was a unique gentleman; he spent his life serving others. As a young man he served his country in World War II, earning a battlefield commission and spending a lot of time in the hospital due to wounds. Returning from the war he served Hughes County as a mailman who was known for his dedication and desire to help anyone in need.  In his spare time he served the young people of our county as their baseball coach.  jess was known across the state for his managerial ability and he led the American Legion team to several championships. He not only taught his players how to win at baseball but also how to win in life by being honest, hardworking citizens. He was greatly admired by all who played for him. Holdenville is a great place to live due, in large part, to people like Jess and Dorothy Epperson.
     Jess was a fifty-year American Legion member. He went into the service January 12, 1943 while he was living in Fitzhugh, Oklahoma. He was told to report to Fort Sill and from there he went to Camp McCoin in Mississippi for basic training and then on to Fort Jackson, South Carolina for Advance Training. After that it was on to Camp Kilmer, New Jersey for debarkation. Jess said they boarded the Queen Elizabeth for the overseas trip and landed at Glasgow.  They camped at Leeds, England and from there boarded an L.S.T. for France, landing at LeHarve, France.  From there he moved to the front line. By that time Jess was a Tech Sergeant and also a Platoon Sergeant.
     On January 12, 1944 Jess received a battlefield commission. Just a few days later he was back in action at the Battle of the Bulge.  On February 6, 1945 Jess was wounded in action in the first major launch into Germany. He was evacuated to a field hospital where he was operated on and then, fourteen days later, was evacuated to the 89th. General Hospital in England. From there he was sent to the hospital ship USS Huddelston and on to Charleston, South Carolina. Jess left there to go to Chickasha, Oklahoma then to Ft. Hood, Texas and last of all to McClosky General Hospital. He was discharged out of the hospital and retuned to Fitzhugh.
     Survivors include his wife of twenty-three years, Dorothy, of the home; Children: Cheryl Bird and husband, Ted, of Ada, Oklahoma, Tony Epperson and wife, Norma, of El Reno, Oklahoma, Paula Rhoades and husband, John, of Holdenville, Oklahoma, Judy Johnson and husband, Donald, of Bedford, Indiana and Penny Ross and husband, Scott, of South Carolina; one sister, Peggy Gilliam of Huntsville, Texas; grandchildren: Shawna and Levi Medlin, Trent, Hunter and David Epperson, Phil and Glenda Webb, Jacob, Brenda, Bobby, Billy and Amy Rhoades, Aimee and Kelly Todd, Melinda Ross, Tammy and John Koplin.  Jess also leaves nineteen great grandchildren and a community of Friends.