Jimmy, better known as Jim, Lee Case was born on January 22, 1942 to Lotus 'Red' and Hazel (Myers) Case in Alva, Oklahoma. He died on December 31, 2016 at the OU Medical Center in Oklahoma City. Jim learned the value of work from an early age. When he was only seven or eight, he [...]
Jimmy, better known as Jim, Lee Case was born on January 22, 1942 to Lotus 'Red' and Hazel (Myers) Case in Alva, Oklahoma. He died on December 31, 2016 at the OU Medical Center in Oklahoma City.
Jim learned the value of work from an early age. When he was only seven or eight, he was already mowing lawns. According to his mother, he was barely tall enough to see over the mower handle. He began delivering the newspaper by the time he was nine. In his early teens, he helped his father deliver milk from the Gold Spot Dairy to Alva homes. Shortly after getting his driver's license, he began a job with the local gas company in Alva and arose every morning before school to read meters. After high school, Jim graduated from Northwestern Oklahoma State University with a Bachelor of Science in Business and a minor in Social Work.
Jim married Sheila Vondracek on June 2, 1963. The couple had two children: Brandon Michael, born on July 15, 1965 and Jason Daniel born on November 4, 1969. Jim's strong work ethic helped him to provide for his young family, which never knew want. His first job after marrying Sheila was at the Alva Municipal Airport. He enjoyed skydiving while working at this job. He next found employment with Burroughs Corporation of St. Louis, Missouri, which moved the young Case family to Wichita and Pratt for approximately a year each.
Deciding that he didn't want to raise his children in a large city, which working for Burroughs would almost certainly entail, Jim next found employment at Alfalfa Electric Cooperative in Cherokee. He worked there for several years, later joining a startup business, which manufactured Naugahyde travel bags in the Jet/Nash area. Also while living in Cherokee, Jim owned and managed the Dinette Café for several years.
The job that Jim enjoyed the most, however, was at Helena State School for Boys in Helena. He worked as a house parent/social worker in the Mustang Cottage for juvenile delinquent boys in the 1970s and had many fond memories of that period of this life, especially the camaraderie with his coworkers, including Steve Bontrager, Marion McCune, and Joe Robinson, Sr.
Jim next took over the Daylight Donut Shop in Alva. After his father died in 1977, he purchased the business from his mother, due to difficulties she was having with tenants of the business. Jim ran the donut business for over 27 years, while simultaneous holding full-time jobs including with Court Related and Community Services (later known as Northwest Family Services), Northwest Treatment Center, and finally Vocational Rehabilitation.
Jim worked hard his whole life and rarely found time to take a break. In fact, he was working as a paraprofessional in Alva Middle School up until health problems forced him to remain at home a few weeks before his death.
He married his second wife, Barbara (Palmer) Nighswonger on July 4 in the early 1990s.