James Willis Ireland

11/20/1943 - 11/08/2023


Obituary For James Willis Ireland

James (Jim) Willis Ireland passed away November 8, 2023 at the age of 82. He was just shy of celebrating his 83rd birthday which would have been on November 20th. Jim was the son of Earl and Stella Ireland and he grew up in Kansas City, MO. He was preceded in death by his wife Sylvia Ireland (Adams) by just over three weeks. She was the love of his life and from the moment she passed he knew that he wanted to be with her.

Jim attended Raytown High School and went on to attend National College where he graduated with his Bachelor of Arts degree in 1964. He continued his studies at St. Paul School of Theology where he graduated with a Master of Sacred Theology degree in 1967. He began his service to the United Methodist church in 1961 as a student local pastor at Mount Zion and then Creighton/Lucas. He served as an assistant pastor at Faith(KCMO) in 1966.

Upon graduation he served as a pastor in the United Methodist Church as follows:

6/67-5/71 Republic/Battlefield

5/71-5/73 Republic

5/73-8/80 Wesley/Ebenezer

9/80-5/86 MO West Conference- Associate Council Director

6/86-5/90 Kimberling City

6/90-5/96 Lebanon First

6/96-6/00 District Superintendent Springfield District

7/00-6/02 District Superintendent Ozarks South District

7/1/02 Retired Clergy

7/03-8/06 Morrisville/Aldrich

7/08-6/10 Midway Locust Grove

3/11-6/12 Russellville

7/12-6/12 coordinator Mexico Circuit

Jim absolutely loved being a pastor in the Methodist church. Jim and Sylvia both served the churches he was appointed to as pastor. He led youth groups, sang in choirs, did mission trips with the Heifer Project International and Volunteers in Mission in Costa Rica, led trips to the Holy Land, played softball, directed church camps, and enjoyed many many church potlucks. He officiated weddings, funerals, baptisms, led bible studies, sang solos, worked vacation bible schools, and acted in church plays. He would have worked until the end had he been physically able because he enjoyed all of it so much.

Jim and Sylvia met in college and were married 62 years. Jim is the beloved father and grandfather of three children and seven grandchildren. Joe Ireland and his wife Tammy reside in Mount Pleasant, IA, and have 2 daughters, Megan and Erin. Jim Ireland and his wife Mary live in Fort Garland, CO, and have 2 boys, Sean and Collin. Merri Moore (Ireland) and her husband Charlie live in Wentzville, MO, and have 3 children, Peyton, Sam, and Hank.

Preacher’s kids (PKs) can be pretty harsh critics of their parents. Jim welcomed our post-sermon critiques at Sunday dinner and always considered our feedback graciously. While his knowledge of the Bible was extensive, he always led with his heart and was not fearful of differing opinions. He emphasized the importance of a spiritual life over a specific religious indoctrination or affiliation. We are thankful for his love of life and he will be dearly missed.

Jim was laid to rest alongside Sylvia in Evergreen Meadows at Bellefontaine Cemetery in St. Louis MO. They had a green burial and are in a beautiful field of native trees and flowers with no markers. Coordinates of their location can be obtained from the cemetery. They loved the outdoors and marveled in the beauty of God’s creation.

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  • 12/23/2023

    I love you and I miss you grandpa. -Erin Ireland, granddaughter

  • 12/21/2023

    Love You and Miss You Jim❤️ Tammy Quayle Ireland, daughter-in-law, Joe's wife

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