A wonderful husband, father, grandfather, brother and friend, Jesse James North, 70 of Middlesboro, Kentucky passed away on Thursday, June 17th at Middlesboro ARH. Jesse was born on March 9, 1951 in Pineville, KY to Lee and Mary North. Jesse lived in Bell County most of his life with a few years in Lexington and Chicago, Illinois during his early working years. Jesse married his beloved and beautiful bride, Helena Kaye Slusher in June of 1969 and celebrated 52 years together on the 5th of this month. He spent the early years working in Chicago and later Lexington, Kentucky before returning home to Bell County in 1975. He loved helping raise his son Jody and daughter Jessica with Helena Kaye. After stints with Train manufacturing and Billy Ray Carroll Construction, Jesse made his mark and his livelihood as an underground miner for 36 years of which 24 were with James River Coal. He loved his grandkids who he said repeatedly changed his life for the better. Taylor, Holden, Hallie, Brooklyn and Cayden loved their papaw and he loved them. After he retired, he loved to hunt and fish with Holden and Hallie, attend all 5 kids ballgames and track meets and coach Cayden in all sports in his own backyard while rarely missing a practice much less a game. He was compassionate to all of the people he met and will be remembered fondly by those in the community. Jesse was the most kind and gentle man with his family and friends. He had humility and wisdom endearing him to everyone who met him. Jesse was one of of ten children born to Lee Mack North and Mary Calvin Lawson. Jesse told his family about hard times they experienced but also of undying love and strength they gave each other. Throughout his time on Earth, he shared a genuine love for all of his family and provided an abundance of protection and support to each of them. Jesse’s children Jody and Jessica were so very blessed to have him as their dad and as their children’s papaw. There are no words adequate to describe the love they all had for him and how deeply he will be missed. We can only imagine what it will be like when we can walk by his side again in the face of the Lord.
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Jesse was preceded in death by Lee Mack North (father), Mary Calvin North (mother), Georgia Lee Lester (mother-in-law) Opal Tinsley (sister), Sherman North (brother), Finley North (brother) and Noah Grigsby (grandson)
Jesse is survived by Helena Kaye North (wife) Jody North ( son), Melissa Gilbert North, ( special daughter in law ) Jessica (daughter)and Donnie Grigsby, Taylor Grigsby (Blake) Bowling (granddaughter), Holden Conner North (Caitlin) (grandson), Hallie North (granddaughter), Brooklyn Grigsby ( granddaughter). and Cayden Grigsby (grandson) who he enjoyed coaching as soon as Cayden could walk. He is also survived by Drucilla Carter (sister), Lee North Jr. (brother), Homer North (brother), Dicey Epps (sister), John Dillinger North (brother), Martha Jimenez (sister), Gaynelle Viola (sister) and numerous nieces, nephews as well other extended family members. Jesse had hundreds of special people in his life but special mention to Freddie and Debbie Mays, Billie and Mark Owens, William Boyd and Joan Bingham as well Geri and David McCool.
Funeral and visitation will be held at Brooks/ Durham Funeral Home on Tuesday, June 22nd with visitation for family at 11 am, family and friends from 12 to 2 pm with funeral at 2 pm with William Boyd Bingham presiding. Pallbearers will be Holden North, Cayden Grigsby, Donny Grigsby, Blake Bowling, Jamie Roan, Freddie Mays, and Alex Mays. Honorary Pallbearers are Lee North Jr., Homer North, John North, Terry Carroll, Mike Carroll, Darrell Brooks, Mark Owens, Travis Slusher, and Justin Mays.
Burial to follow at Mills Cemetery on Hwy 92 at Slusher/Parrott Loop.