Dr. Jesse (Jess) W. Ghormley, 88 of Amarillo, Texas went to his eternal home on November 26, 2013.
Memorial services will be at 11:00 a.m., Saturday, November 30, 2013, in Westcliff Bible Church, 5300 Amarillo Blvd., with Dr. Steven Waterhouse, pastor, officiating. Arrangements are by Boxwell Brothers Funeral Directors, 2800 Paramount Blvd.
Dr. Ghormley was born in Cisco, Texas and is predeceased by his parents, Dr. William Isaac and Ammon Ghormley; sister Miriam and brother William Isaac, Jr.
Dr. Ghormley graduated from Cisco High School at the age of 16 and attended 2 years at Cisco Junior college before enlisting in the Navy. He rose to the grade of Lieutenant, Junior Grade and served in the Pacific Fleet. He was awarded the Bronze Star Medal after distinguishing acts of heroism on Peleliu Island, September 15, 1944.
Upon being honorably discharged he went on to attend Southern Methodist University and then graduated from Northern Illinois College of Optometry in July, 1949. Dr. Ghormley initially practiced in Arlington, Texas but was presented with an opportunity to relocate to Amarillo in the early fifties, working for Broome Optical in the summer of 1950. He subsequently purchased the business and practiced for over 63 years before retiring in 2012. He was one of the first optometrists in the Panhandle to prescribe and fit contact lenses, which he greatly enjoyed throughout his career. One of his greatest pleasures was in seeing his patients over the many generations.
He was active throughout his lifetime in charitable and civic events. A member of the Gideon’s, supported Faith City Mission, a long-standing member of Rotary, a former president were just some of his activities. Dr. Ghormley also gladly played the role of Santa for many years, visiting children in Amarillo hospitals.
Dr. Ghormley loved music and to sing–his singing career began when he agreed to perform in church in exchange for his first ride on a horse at the age of 12. He continued to sing throughout his lifetime, in barbershop quartets, church choirs, with his cousins and children with little provocation.
Dr. Ghormley and his wife were active members in Westcliff Bible Church for many years. He was an astute student of the Bible and studied the word faithfully throughout his entire life.
Dr. Ghormley met and married his “beautiful bride”, Bernadine Clark Hall in 1977. They have spent many years enjoying the treasure of their union in travel, shared love of the arts and the Amarillo Symphony.
He is survived by his loving wife, Bernadine; his daughter, Jana Ghormley Boss of Allen, Texas: sons Dr. Tod Ghormley and his wife, Mimi of Conway, Arkansas; Chris Ghormley of Santa Maria, California; Jason Ghormley and his wife Mary Anne of Plano, Texas; step-daughter, Andrea Baldwin of Austin, Texas; step-son, Charles Hall, Jr. and his wife, Melissa of Houston, Texas and his sister, Norma Ghormley Sherman of Kerrville, Texas. Together they have 9 grandchildren: Tessa and Tyler (Lindsay) Boss of Dallas, Texas; Ben (Megan)Ghormley, Megan Ghormley (Garrett) Matsuyama, both of Conway, Arkansas; Sarah and Amy Ghormley, Plano, Texas; Jennifer Baldwin (Arin) Whittington of Golden, Colorado; Jessica Baldwin of Chicago, Illinois and Caitlin Hall, in Houston, Texas. He also leaves 3 great-grandchildren: Adam Whittington, Maddox Matsuyama and Patrick Scott Boss.
The family of Dr. Ghormley would also like to acknowledge his five first cousins that were in fact, his brothers throughout their lifetime: the late Valin R. and Stanley Woodward and Lewis, Morgan and Lee Woodward. The laughter never stopped when they were together.