On Aug. 23, 1941 he was united in marriage with Evelyn Gallion and to this union four children were born.
Jesse accepted Christ at an early age and served faithfully as Deacon of Independence Baptist Church since November of 1947, where he attended without fail. Jesse always told the story that he was saved while laying out in the pasture with a hound dog sitting on his chest.
He served on the board of directors for Production Credit Association for twenty-five years and on the board of directors for Laclede Electric Cooperative for almost 40 years.
Jesse loved his horses, cattle, dogs and possum hunting in his younger years. He especially loved the time spent with his family. His grandchildren were the apple of his eye. He loved teaching them to ride horses, the four wheeler and all about life. He was born and lived his entire life on the farm his grandfather settled on in the 1840's.
He is survived by his wife Evelyn of the home; one son, Robert Elam and wife Pat of Richland; one daughter, Elizabeth Elam of Richland; a son-in-law, Frank Finger of Fayetteville, Ark.; one brother, Bill Elam of Richland; four sisters, Flora Lawrance of Clearwater, Fla., Bonnie McIntyre of St. Louis, Ethel Wilson and Grace McCleary, both of Richland; seven grandchildren: Mark Finger, Zachary Finger and wife Aricka, Sarah Ice and husband John, Julie Bennett and husband Scott, Jessica Elam, Joe Elam, Becky May; seven great grandchildren: Elizabeth Ice, Jackson Finger, Seth, Gabriel and Josey May, Hannah and Ethan Finger; nieces, nephews, other relatives and many friends. His friends were like family and many said they never heard anyone say a bad word about Jesse Elam.
He is preceded in death by his parents; one daughter, Gay Finger; one infant son, Christopher Elam; one son-in-law, Jim May; a brother, Roger Elam; and three sisters, Rose McCamon, Anna Bowling and Mildred Clark.
Jesse was a true leader in all things and he was our HERO.
Services for Mr. Elam were held at 10:30 a.m. Wednesday, Sept. 10, 2003 at Independence Baptist Church, with Pastor Ed Hamilton officiating. Music was provided by Morris McDaniel. Escorts were Mark Finger, Larry Laucks, Randy Wilson, Zachary Fingers, Bill Laucks and Scott Bennett. Honorary Escorts were Deacons: Jim Dietiker, LeRoy Robinson, Jim Reid, Jr., Bob Brandon and Mayfield Wilson; and the Laclede Electric Board of Directors: Malcolm Osborn, Dwight Bethurem, Don Martin, Don Clark, Joel Cravens, Doyle Stokes, Jerry Gaddy, David Johnson, Jerry Laughlin and Carl Lowrance.
Burial was in Oaklawn Cemetery, Richland, under the direction of Thieme-Shadel-Hicks Funeral Service at Colonial Chapel.