James (Jim) Junior Pierce, age 89, of Fostoria, Ohio, surrendered himself to the Lord on June 2, 2018, reuniting him with his wife of nearly 70 years, Sally (Sarah Jane) Pierce who died February 23, 2017.
He was born on May 3, 1929 to James Aaron Pierce and Cleo (Snyder) both of whom are deceased. He was preceded in death as well by his infant sister Gloria Ann; sister, Jeanine Ann (Might) and brother, John Wesley. He is survived by his sister, Jenna (Ash) of Columbus, Ohio.
In addition, he is survived by two sons: Kerry Neil, husband of Elaine (Yost) of Lancaster, Ohio, and Kevin Alan, husband of Molly (Sacksteder). He was also the grandfather of four: Kerry and Elaine’s two children, Emily, wife of Brian Rivera and Andrew, as well as Kevin and Molly’s two children Will and Ellen (King). James’ grandchildren provided him with five great-grandchildren: Ellen and Chase King’s daughters, Annabelle, Adalyn, and Charlotte. Will Pierce’s daughter Jasmine, and the son of Andrew Pierce and his girlfriend Richelle Grimm: Mason.
Like his wife Sally, in his final years, Jim developed a close friendship with caregiver, Deb Alva. Deb made it possible to finish his life at home, something that meant so much to him.
After graduating from Fostoria High School, Jim traveled to Roseburg, Oregon where he worked in the Forest Service, then returned to Fostoria to marry his high school sweetheart, Sally. For the first few years of their marriage, Jim worked at the East North Street Lumber Company, where he learned the fundamentals of woodworking from mentor Lee Amstutz. He then went out on his own building kitchen and bathroom cabinets, as well as homes for clients throughout the Fostoria area. Briefly, in the 1960s, he served as shop foreman at Seneca Lumber and Millwork, a Fostoria company specializing in circular stairways and bow windows, as well as custom millwork. He then left the company and went out on his own once again, this time as a builder of spec homes, many of which are located in North Fostoria in the Bittersweet Lane area. He ended his working life as the maintenance supervisor for Ohio Power’s Northern Ohio District.
On weekends during his years at Ohio Power, he began to build high-quality period-furniture reproductions, primarily in the Chippendale style. His work in this area was featured in a cover story in the February 1995 issue of “Woodwork” magazine, a story in the May 2004 issue of “Grit Magazine,” and a column in the August 2006 “Popular Woodworking.”
After retiring, Jim and Sally, along with their son Kevin and his wife Molly built a home for the young couple.
In his retirement, he and his wife, Sally also began an independent and self-funded charity to address housing problems in the poor colonies of the Reynosa area of Northern Mexico. There they repaired and added onto a number of homes and — working with the future occupants — built one home from scratch. In addition, Jim built several pieces for The Church of the Good Shepherd.
After selling their winter home in South Texas, Jim and Sally started a small-scale, privately funded cat rescue in a small building on their property constructed for that purpose by Jim and his two sons. In his final years, Jim’s work with the cats was one of most powerful comforts in his life.
Friends will be received at the Barndt Funeral Home in Wayne, Ohio between the hours of 2-3 p.m. Tuesday (June 5, 2018). A Celebration of Life Service will begin at 3 p.m. Tuesday (June 5, 2018) with Pastor Ron Merritt officiating. Burial will be in Riverview Cemetery near West Millgrove, Ohio.
The family asks that donations be made in Jim’s name to local humane societies. Please refer flower orders to Klotz Floral Design and Garden in Bowling Green, Ohio.
Online condolences may be sent to Jim’s family at www.barndtfuneralhome.org.