Jesse James Reepe, Jr.
November 17, 1934 - April 22, 2013
JJ, James, Daddy, brother, coach, friend, mentor, role-model, teacher.
James Reepe went to heaven to fill his place in the grandstands of witnesses, but he left a hole in the life of his family and the community of Buford.
A 1951 graduate of Buford High School when there were only eleven grades, he returned to school the next year when the twelfth grade was added so he could play one more year of sports.
He often said that last year of high school was the best, not because he played ball one more year, but because he met the love of his life, Betty Jo Mahaffey at the county basketball tournament.
He began working at Sears and Roebuck in 1953 and continued to work there until he retired in 1990. In January of 1954, he married Betty Jo and together they had three childrenSteve, Joey, and Robin.
James was named deacon in the First Baptist Church of Buford in his twenties. Over the years he used his teaching skills to lead Sunday School for young married couples, college and career aged students, third grade boys, youth, and senior adults. He has served as a teacher for the Upper Room Sunday School Class for the last sixteen years.
James, along with other local men, was instrumental in starting the youth baseball and softball leagues in Buford. He spent countless hours building fields and coaching teams.
Long before the start of t-ball, he started the Yellow Caps Teamand instructional team for five and six-year old boys.
Many Saturday mornings he could be found coaching as many as 30 little boys wearing their yellow caps. When Tommy, his first grandson began to play, James became JJ, and he started with the coaching a second generation of ball-players. He finally gave up the coaching, but never gave up the love for the games. He has attended almost every Buford High School football game since 1952, and would tell anyone who would listen about the Wolves and what it meant to bleed green. A former basketball referee, he was often the voice heard over the crowd correcting an officials take on a playand of course, it was to be sure the call went in favor of his beloved Wolves.
JJ loved his family, his church, and his community, but most importantly, he loved his Heavenly Father. While our hearts break, we know heis in heaven rejoicing with those who have gone before him.
James is predeceased by his parents, Jess and Dovie Stephens Reepe, his son, Steven (Stevie) Lee Reepe and a grandaughter Jessica Michelle Gower. His is survived by his wife of 59 years, Betty Jo Mahaffey Reepe; son, Joe (Joey) and Nahoko Reepe of Braselton, daughter, Robin Reepe and Mike Gower, Buford; sisters, Donnie Jean Reepe Pugh (sons Greg and Kenny) and Geraldine Reepe Cates (daughter Amy), Buford; grandchildren, Tommy and Savannah Gower of Oakwood, Chloe Reepe of Ottowa, Ontario; and YJ Reepe of Braselton; special niece Amy Cates and Carson Smith and Avery, Anna Cate, and Lily of Buford.
Visitation will be at Hamilton Mill Memorial Chapel in Buford on Tuesday, April 23 from 3-5 and 6-9. Services will be on Wednesday, April 24 at 2:00 at First Baptist Church in Buford. Hamilton Mill Memorial Chapel 770-945-6924 Share Memories of James at hamiltonmillchapel.com