After a month-long battle with Covid-19, James Wesley Harp of Paragould passed away Sept. 8, 2020, at St. Bernards Medical Center.
He was born Aug. 15, 1941, to Allison Harp and Floreine Spotts Harp at the home of the maternal grandparents, J.W. “Wes” and Jewel Stedman Spotts. He lived there until his mother married Dennis E. “Cowboy” Guthrie and they moved to Jessup.
James Wesley – the J.W. being a Spotts family tradition – attended all 12 years of school and graduated from Strawberry High School. James Wesley followed in his granddad’s footsteps and often by his side, in the trading of hogs, cattle and once even some sheep. He always bragged that he paid for his first car with hog money.
After a short stint at Johnny Sain Auto Parts, he signed up with a telephone construction crew, D.O. Creasman, out of Ashville, N.C., putting in the phone lines there in Jessup, etc. and began his travels. He worked many states, especially in the South. He also involved many local men, Dan Matthews, Mike, Denny, Jimmy Terry Durham to become part of the telephone world.
However, when James decided to pick a wife, he came back home and married Mary Agnes Miller. They were engaged in October 1965 and married June 19, 1966. After returning from their honeymoon, they discovered June 19 was also Wes and Jewel’s anniversary. James and Mary shared 54 years together and have a daughter, Denice Anne Harp West.
After several years of travel, James and Mary settled in Greene County, in the Oak Grove Community. He worked for Klassmeyer for 30 years and continued to travel all over the U.S.A. So he put Mary in charge of the “farm” and indulged in his love of Brahma cattle, raising a crossbred and registered Brahma herd. His “roundhead” Gyr cattle became his pride and joy.
After 32 years with Klassmeyer Construction, James returned to raise cattle and enjoy life, especially his card-playing buddies.
James Wesley made the decision, at 16, early in life to follow the Lord and his teachings. He was baptized in a creek and became a member of Smithville Baptist Church until he moved his membership to Oak Grove Heights Baptist. While not actively involved, he always tried to be who God would have him to be. He was a devoted and faithful husband, a loving, caring father who loved his family and many friends.
James is survived by his wife, Mary Harp; daughter, Denice West of Nashville; lots of friends and family, especially the Gene Spotts families of Conway.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Dennis E. and Floreine Guthrie; biological father, Allison Harp; his grandparents, J.W. “Wes” and Jewel Spotts; aunt, Geraldine Spotts Crump of Lubbock, Texas; and Nadine Spotts Guthrie of Black Rock; uncle, Gene Spotts of Conway; and lifelong best friend, Joe Frank Patterson of Cave City.
Visitation was Friday, Sept. 11, from 2-3 p.m. at Heath Funeral Home in Paragould. The funeral followed at 3 with David Stallings officiating.
An online guestbook is available at www.heath funeralhome.com.