Jim Wharton, 79, Columbia, Mo., passed away Saturday, Aug. 28, 2021, at the University of Missouri Hospital.
Jim was born Sept. 23, 1941, in Hannibal, Mo., to W. Robert and Mary Margaret Gardhouse Wharton.
In 1959 he graduated from Palmyra High School, earned an associate of arts degree from Hannibal-LaGrange College, after which he joined the United States Army. He served two tours in Vietnam, and was honorably discharged in 1974 as a CWO4.
While serving in the army, he earned a bachelor of science from Cameron College, Lawton, Okla. He was awarded several service medals and was a Purple Heart recipient.
After completing his military obligations, he went on to become maintenance and production supervisor for Central Soya in Ft. Worth, Texas, and later at Ralston-Purina in Liberal, Kan.
He also earned an ASN/RN from Dodge City Community College in Dodge City, Kan. For most of his life he was an entrepreneur working for himself, selling TV satellites and The Lawnworks lawn care company, and he founded Columbia House Washing; a power washing service that is still family owned and operated today. He most recently worked in insurance sales.
He is survived by his wife, Judy Anne Holmes Wharton; seven children, Rebecca (Mark) Mesplay of Monticello, Ill.; David (Shaunery) Wharton, Columbia; Marcy (Thomas) Buckles, Trenton, Ill.; Matthew (Heather) Holmes, Cordova, Tenn.; Daniel (Jessaca) Thompson, Laura (Kenneth) Casteel and Nicolas (Ashley) Thompson, all of Columbia; 17 grandchildren, Zachary, Madison and Kathryn Mesplay, Taylor Somers, Erin and Sarah Wharton, Evan and Colby Buckles, Hannah, Hailey, and Barrett Holmes, Gavin Thompson, Christian York, Emily Thompson, Ethan and Savannah Casteel and Levi Thompson; a brother, Eugene (Floyce) Wharton, Palmyra; great-aunt, Betty Ruth Wharton (Eugene) Grizzel; many nieces and nephews and a loving extended family.
He was preceded in death by his parents.
Jim cherished his time with his children and grandchildren in all their activities and hobbies. He had a lifelong passion for RVs, motorhomes and coaches and it was his dream to travel and enjoy America’s sites and views.
Jim also enjoyed turning wrenches, tinkering with small engines and tractors. In his later years, you could find him at local thresher events and tractor shows.
Memorial services will be held at 10:30 a.m., Saturday, Sept. 4, at Open Door Church, 4838 Meadow Lark Lane, Columbia, Mo. 65201 followed by military honors. Following the service, interment will be at Greenwood Cemetery in Palmyra, Mo. at 2 p.m.
Friends may gather at the church from 10 to 10:30 a.m., before the service.
Memorials may be made to the Central Missouri Honor Flight, 1400 Forum Blvd., Ste. 7-A, Box 334 Columbia, Mo. 65203 or at centralmissourihonorflight.com
Online condolences may be shared at memorialfuneralhomeandcemetery.com.