Big Stone Gap, VA - Jessie Ray Adkins, born 29th day of October 1934, passed away Sunday, March 4, 2018, at the age of 83. Jessie was born in Derby, VA to Thomas and Grace Adkins. He enlisted in the Air Force in 1952 and was a two-war veteran serving in Korea and Vietnam. After retiring from the Air Force, Jessie served 22 years in Federal service working for the 90th Civil Engineering Squadron at F.E. Warren Air Force Base in Cheyenne, Wyoming. Jessie married Betty Adams and together they raised two boys, Rocky (Karen) of Milford, DE and Ricky (Kathy) of Cheyenne, WY. Jessie was a licensed pilot and enjoyed flying, hanging out at airports and visiting aviation museums. After his beloved wife Betty passed away Jessie bumped into an old friend from childhood, Willie June Wade. She was Jessie’s soulmate and the two spent 18 years traveling, laughing and enjoying life together.
He was preceded in death by Betty, his parents T.E. and Grace Adkins, his sister Evelyn and brother Lee.
In addition to his sons, Jessie is survived by his five grandchildren whom he adored, Samantha Adkins serving in the Navy in Bremerton, WA, Janine (Adkins) Bequette, Capt. Shawn Adkins (Meredith), Patrick Adkins (Michelle), and Korie (Adkins) Steele (Daniel). He also has eight great-grandchildren, Karynna, Lauren, Hannah, Emily, Kayla, Patrick Jr., Allexi and Brayden. One of his greatest pleasures was spoiling his grandchildren every chance he got.
The family will receive friends on Tuesday, March 6, 2018, at Gilliam Funeral Home, 618 Wood Ave. W, Big Stone Gap, VA from 11:00am-1:00pm. Funeral services will begin at 1:00pm with Dr. Roy Smith officiating. Graveside services will follow at Powell Valley Memorial Gardens, Big Stone Gap, VA. Family and friends will serve as pallbearers.
Gilliam Funeral Home and Crematory is honored to serve the family of Jessie Adkins.
618 Wood Ave. West
Big Stone Gap, VA 24219