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1928 James 2020

James William Klipstine

July 7, 1928 — September 12, 2020

James William Klipstine, of Kosse, has gone to his heavenly home as of Saturday, September 12, 2020, after his 92 years of serving the Lord and mankind.

James was born July 7, 1928 to Rezon Lewis Klipstine and Mary (Klipstine) Meeker on the French Tract, Colfax County, New Mexico.  When James was 7 years old, he contracted polio.   His mother took him by train to St. Jude’s hospital in St. Louis, Missouri but she had to go back to another child in New Mexico.  He remained in the hospital there for a year and half, and when released, at 8 years old, he rode the train back to New Mexico by himself. He gave credit to the root beer his grandmother brought him every day when he was home to overcoming the handicap caused by the polio.   Although he walked with a limp all his life, he never complained.   James moved with his family as a teenager to Amarillo, TX.

In 1954, James relocated his family to Hobbs, New Mexico, where he operated a farm, raising cotton, corn, and cattle, and training his boys to work chopping weeds.

With only a high school education, James achieved many avenues of success.  He was a real estate developer, subdividing and selling land in Lea County, New Mexico.   He was one of the first businessmen to start the NFIB (National Federation of Business) in Lea County.

Also, his business interests included owning a series of optical dispensaries, and he was an optician, associated with an ophthalmologist in Hobbs.  

He was one of the founding members of the University of the Southwest (New Mexico Baptist College) in Hobbs, NM, where he had donated the land for the college and was on the initial Board of Directors.

James was a Mason in Lea County.  He was a lifelong member of the Baptist Church.  In Lea County, he was instrumental in founding a number of Baptist Churches.  While a member of the First Baptist Church, he went out on missions, and there are at last three Baptist churches in Hobbs he helped found.  He served as a lay minister when a minister was not available, saying that he “taught” rather than preached.   

For more than thirty-seven years, James ministered to his fellow men by sharing scriptures with many in need of recovery in their lives.  He also volunteered for many years as a court appointed guardian ad litem for incapacitated people in New Mexico.     

James founded the Gideons chapter in Southern New Mexico and was among the men who placed the Bibles in the hotel/motel rooms.  His children were raised with Bibles stacked on the porch and helped him deliver them.

James was united in marriage with Helen Browning in 1979.  In 1999, after he retired, they moved outside Kosse in Limestone County to be near his daughter and son-in-law.   His large family was dear to James, and he loved being with his grandchildren and great grandchildren, who all knew him as PaPa.  

Although James had retired from his careers in New Mexico, he stayed active here.   He worked as a driver for Baylor University and also for Limestone Transit.  He had obtained his degree late in life, and was still interested in learning, taking environmental classes at Baylor.

James was a member of the First Baptist Church at Kosse and continued to minister to men in need of his encouragement and scriptures at the church building and later at his home, up through this year.   After his long lifetime of service to the Lord, his family, and his fellowmen, he spent a week in the hospital and then a few days at Groesbeck LTC.

James was preceded in death by his parents, Rezon Klipstine and Mary Meeker; brother, Lewis Klipstine; son, Michael Klipstine; grandson, Steven Griffin; daughter-in-law, Tannie Klipstine; and brother-in-law, Hal Cobb.

He is survived by his wife, Helen Klipstine; his sister, Alice Cobb; children, Linda and David Parker, James W. Klipstine, Jr, Jerry and Kathy Klipstine, Jack and Kathy Browning, and Tom Browning; 19 grandchildren and many great grandchildren.

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