James Webb Dement passed away on May 8, 2022 at the Veterans Administration Home in Kosciusko, MS. He was born in Meridian, MS on July 7, 1923. He was preceded in death by his parents, Frank E. Dement and Rebecca White Dement; Rev. Frank E. Dement, Jr. (brother); Rev. William R. Dement (brother); Birdie Mae Dement Rogers (sister); Leslie Lee Dement (infant sister). He is survived by six nieces and nephews.
Jim was in his senior year at Meridian High School in 1942 when he was inducted into the U. S. Army. His military service began and ended at Camp Shelby. In the interim, his training took him to Tennessee, where he became a crew chief on an Anti-Aircraft Barrage Balloon crew. He continued on to Washington State and then Hawaii. During that time, he was further trained and reassigned as a telephone and telegraph lineman with Company B, 49th Signal Heavy Construction Battalion. Later, on the island of Iwo Jima, he had the dubious job of installing telephone poles and climbing them to install communication lines. He was discharged in 1946 at the rank of Tech 4.
In his civilian career, he initially worked with his father at his father’s Print Shop. This was short lived as his father had to retire from printing due to failing eye sight and subsequently closed the shop. Jim went on to apprentice as a machinist, working for several companies such as Ingles Ship Yard and Vickers from which he retired.
Jim never knew a stranger and had a dry wit about him. When folks would ask him whether he was an Ole Miss or Miss State fan, he would always say that the Purdue “Boilermakers” football team was his favorite. When questioned about the reason for that loyalty, he would respond by saying; “If those guys can drink “boilermakers” and still play football”, they have to be my team.