James E. DePriest, Sr.
James E. DePriest, Sr., 96, of Mt. Pleasant, died on Sunday, Dec. 11, 2016, at Sunnybrook Assisted Living, in Mt. Pleasant.
A Celebration of Life for DePriest will be held at 7 p.m., on Tuesday, Dec. 27, 2016, at the First Presbyterian Church, located at 902 South Walnut St., in Mt. Pleasant. Rev. Trey Hegar will officiate. The Henry County Honor Guard will perform a military presentation. The family will greet friends at a coffee following the celebration of life in the church Fellowship Hall. Friends may call to sign the register from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., on Dec. 26 and Dec. 27, at the Kimzey Funeral Home, located at 213 N. Main St., in Mt. Pleasant. Entombment will be held at 11:30 a.m., on Wed. Dec. 28, in the Sunset Memorial Gardens, Rockford, Ill. Rev. Jane Eesley, of Christ United Methodist Church, in Rockford, Ill., will officiate. The family will greet friends at the cemetery chapel from 11 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
In lieu of flowers, those considering an expression of sympathy may direct memorials to the First Presbyterian Church, the Mt. Pleasant Music Boosters or HCI Care Services. Online condolences may be directed to www.kimzeyfuneralhome.com.
DePriest, Sr. was born on July 14, 1920, in Jackson, Miss., the son of James Edward DePriest III and Marion Laura (Hutchins) DePriest. He graduated from Amundsen High School, in Chicago, Ill., in 1938. He attended Wright Junior College. On July 26, 1958, at the Court Street Methodist Church, in Rockford, Ill., he was united in marriage to Lois Esther Traver. She preceded him in death.
He served his country in the United States Armed Forces during World War II. He was inducted into the United States Army on Nov. 24, 1942, in Chicago, Ill. He became an Anti-Tank Radio Operator, serving 18 months in Northern France, Rhineland and Central Europe with the 139 HQ 104 Timberwolf Infantry Division. He rose to be a Master Sergeant. He was honorably discharged from the Attack Company, 414th Infantry on Nov. 5, 1945, at Camp San Luis Obispo, Calif.
For 27 years, he worked as a salesman for the Ryser Brothers Food Corp, a restaurant and food service supply company. He then purchased and operated the Mahan Food Corp., in Rockford, Ill., for 15 years. He then accepted a sales position with the Rockford Paper Company. Following his move to Mt. Pleasant, he worked for the Batey Sawmill, of Mt. Pleasant.
He was a member of Christ United Methodist Church and First Presbyterian Church, in Mt. Pleasant.
He enjoyed telling stories, writing poetry, singing, watching his children perform in their many arts, and watching his grandchildren in their performances.
DePriest, Sr. is survived by his two children, James Edward (Marlene) DePriest, Jr., of Mt. Pleasant; and Linda (Rich) Alden, of Charlotte, N.C.; and eight grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by his parents; his wife, Lois; four sisters, Elizabeth Slaughter, Helene Anderson, Leela Crawford and Carol Lehman; and a step-brother, Paul Dickinson.