Jesse D. King, age 81, of Celina, passed away Tuesday evening, October 26, 2021, at Joint Township District Memorial Hospital in St. Marys.
He was born December 9, 1939, in Mercer County, the only child of the late Jesse Sr. and Frances (Hurless) King.
On December 23, 1973, Jess married the love of his life, Mary Joyce Hammonds, who survives.
Other surviving family members are his children: Sandy (Alyson Young) Powalski of Scotland, Jesse King of Celina, and Jessica "Jetty" (Jimma) Matejek of Nashville, Tennessee.
Also surviving are 5 step-daughters: Debra Gossett (Robert) Gonzalez, Sheryl Gossett Whitacre, Mimi Gossett (Sam) Hammond, Gina Gossett (John) Dresher, and Tina Gossett (Shawn) Daisy, all of Celina, 17 grandchildren, 23 great-grandchildren, 1 great-great grandchild, sisters-in-law: Georgia (Jim) Highley of Celina and Diana Hammonds of Indiana, and the Barnhart Family Cousins from Van Wert, as well as his beloved singing dog, Tiny Bodine King.
Preceding him in death were two daughters: Janice King Brandon and Valda King Martin, grandson, Justin Duane King, brother-in-law, Bobby Hammonds, and son-in-law, Chip Whitacre.
A 1957 graduate of Rockford High School, Jess served with the U.S. Army and was stationed in Germany.
Jess attended The Lighthouse Fellowship Church in Celina. He was the Founder and Pastor of the World Deliverance Church and founded the Country Gospel Coffee House, both in Celina.
"Big Jess" had many jobs in the area and later was an owner/operator truck driver. He retired from MMS Trucking of Springfield, where he worked as an over-the-road driver.
Known as "The Music Man", Jess was very talented and could play several instruments. Jess loved playing his guitar and singing with his wife, Mary Joyce. He had performed with several area bands over the years in the Tri-State area and Canada. Jess King and the Kingsman and Jess King and Country Gospel were two of his better-known groups. The former Edgewater Dance Hall on Grand Lake was one of the popular venues for Jess and his bands.
Jess had been a member of Celina VFW Post #5713 and Celina Moose Lodge #1473. He enjoyed fishing, cooking, riding his golf cart and his many motorcycles. He loved to tell a joke and was quite a prankster.
Calling Hours will be held at the Lighthouse Fellowship Church, 817 N. Sugar St. in Celina, from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. on Saturday, November 6, with a Memorial Service to follow, beginning at 4:00. Pastor Tony Richmond will officiate.
Memorial Contributions may be made to the Lighthouse Fellowship Church.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Jess King, please visit our floral store.