of Bryant, AR
January 14, 1935 - December 20, 2022
Jessie Durham, born on January 14, 1935 to Ervin and Maggie (Mimms) Durham in Coppers Gap (near Dumas), passed away Monday. He was a long-term resident of Bryant, a fixture of the town some say.Jessie was a handy mechanic and kept his tools tidy. With his son, Jessie Wayne, he ran a car at "the Benton Speed Bowl" for years. He enjoyed country music, dancing, NASCAR and in his younger days, rabbit hunting every weekend. After retirement, summer days would usually find him visiting with loved ones and friends new and old in the shade of his carport. He was proud of his yard and loved his martins, who came to stay in the martin houses he put up every year.Jessie was loved. He was saved. And he will be missed.Jessie leaves behind a daughter, Brenda Ritchie (Larry); his ex-wife and love of his life, Thelma; his sisters, Linda Mann (Butch) and Peggy Cluck (Chuck); his grandsons, Jonathon Ritchie (Lauren), Steven Ritchie (Christy) and Junior Chambers (Kim); granddaughters, Shauna Addie (Marcus) and Timika Nicholas (Eric) Melody Kmoch (Josh); great grandsons, Zachary Ritchie, Caleb Addie, Tyler Nicholas, Brandon Witham and Hayes Ritchie; great granddaughters, Hattie Ritchie, Linlee Ritchie, Peyton Williams, Jessalyn Johnson and Alyssa Nichols, Sammy Kmoch and Harley Kmoch; great-great grandson, Drake Witham and great-great granddaughters, Olivia Witham and London Witham and daughter-in-law, Shelia Durham. A host of nieces and nephews will also cherish all the memories.Preceding Jessie in death are his parents, Ervin and Maggie Durham; his son, Jessie Wayne Durham; his brothers, Harvey Lee Durham, William E. Durham and Edward Durham and his sisters, Verna Gaye Gentry and Lillie Kesterson.A viewing will be held from 6-8p.m. Wednesday, December 21st at Roller-Alcoa located at 6700 Alcoa Road in Benton. The funeral will be held at 1:30p.m. Thursday, December 22nd also at Roller-Alcoa. Following the funeral, a procession will lead to Pine Crest Cemetery for the burial at 3:00p.m.
Sorry to hear of your passing Jessie you are a best friend! You were always a great friend and Brother in the lord! I know you are looking around Heaven and you and your son are checking everything out! You never missed coming to my shop every week to just visit and talk about racing. We will all see you soon !!
Uncle Jessie will always be remembered by me as having a good time with his brothers and sisters and his smile. He loved everybody he met and always welcomed you in his house. When I was little we always had family get together atGrandma and Grandpa Durham, we hung pigs on a tree and cooked them and played outside it was a wonderful childhood to remember. I won’t be able to attend the funeral but he will always be remembered by me. Pat Barnett
Jessie would bring Wayne and I donuts every Tuesday when we worked in the machine shop. I remember one time he and I took the car hauler all the way to the half mile at Heber Springs and it was a rain out. That old 327 would run those hills no problem hauling the race car. I also remember laying in the floor of Jessie and Wayne’s shop welding up spider gears to make a locker. Man, those were some good memories of Jessie and my friends! Rest in peace Jessie. I’m gonna miss you but you’re there where you can help Wayne work on stuff now.🙏🙏🙏
I always enjoyed cutting up with jessie and Harvey about the days that we lived in the cotton patch ( Back gate) down south when we were younger.when u went to uncle Ervin and aunt Maggie’s house u always felt welcome and jessie was a big part of that, heaven just became more enjoyable.
The best grandpa any kid could ever wish to have. He loved us kids and taught us a lot. Everywhere we went he always knew everyone, and if he didn’t know a soul, by the time we left he would have made a friend or two. He never met a stranger and loved everyone. He will truly be missed by all. We love you and will miss you always.
The best father in law! Jesse, you were so very loved by many, rest in peace and loveShelia Durham
Uncle Jesse was one of the most wonderful men I have ever known! His wit and wisdom drew everyone to him. I will truly miss our phone calls and the advise he was always willing to give.