James Clay Pease


James “Jim” Clay Pease, 90, of Dowagiac, passed away peacefully at Hanson Hospice Center in Stevensville on Saturday, July 9, 2022.


Jim was born on March 19, 1932, to the late John L. and Kathryn (Varble) Pease in Bald Knob, Arkansas. After graduating from high school Jim enlisted in the United States Navy.  He was a proud veteran and enjoyed telling stories about his time in the service. Jim wed Lila Nash and the two raised four children, Judy, Sheryl, Vickie, and Ron.


Jim worked as a Machine Operator for Uniroyal Tire until his retirement in 1981.  Jim wasn’t one to sit idle though; soon after he began driving truck for the gas company and bartending on the weekends.  Jim and Lila loved spending time on their boat where they frequently went to Magician Lake.  Hunting, fishing, widdling wood, and worrying about his kids were his hobbies.  Jim widdled wood to keep his mind sharp and his hands busy.  He had a heart of gold and was a proud husband, father, grandfather, and veteran.


He was preceded in death by his parents, John and Kathryn Pease; wife, Lila Pease in 2007; son, Ron Lavell; brothers, Paul, Ray, John, Homer, and Dudley Pease; and sisters, Murriel Swierz, Verlene Whittaker, and Louise Pease.


Jim is survived by his daughters, Judy (Mike) Szymonski of Dowagiac, Sheryl Lavell of Dowagiac, and Vickie Moon of Dowagiac; several grandchildren and great-grandchildren; brother, Mike (Diane) Pease of Niles; and countless extended family members and close friends.


Funeral services to honor and celebrate Jim’s life will be held on Tuesday, July 12, 2022, at Mission Hills Mausoleum Chapel at 11:00 a.m. with a time of visitation beginning one hour prior. Those wishing to make a memorial donation in Jim’s name may do so to the Disabled American Veterans.