Dr. James Willis Rawson, fondly known as “Jake” to family and friends, passed away peacefully at the age of 87 on July 16, 2018, surrounded by his loving family.Jake was born in Dossville, Mississippi to the late Richard Willis Rawson and Bessie Mae Rawson. After graduating high school, Jake began his college career at East Central Junior College in Decatur, MS. It was at ECJC, that he met the love of his life, Lucy Ware. Jake and Lucy married on August, 20, 1951.

Jake earned his B.S. in General Agriculture and his M.S. in Entomology at Mississippi State University. In 1958, he earned his Ph.D. in Entomology at Texas A&M University. After earning his doctorate, he served on the faculty at Auburn University in the Research Department until 1962.

Jake began his career with Hercules in 1962 as a Senior Technical Sales Representative in their Synthetics Department in Montgomery, AL. He moved onto their Research/Sales Division in Greenville, MS. before transferring to Wilmington, DE. where he retired in 1990 as their Vice President of Marketing. After retiring from Hercules, he went on to become a consultant for Micro Flo Chemical Company until 2000.

Jake will always be remembered as a very loving, kind, and generous husband, father, grandfather, and great-grandfather, which was one of his life’s greatest joys. He had a huge heart and was always willing to help anyone in need. He had a great sense of humor and always had a joke to tell. In the last few years, he could often be found on his porch swing as the self-proclaimed mayor of the neighborhood, waving to everyone that passed by or enjoying ice cream in the swing with his dear friend, Clifton. In his earlier years, he enjoyed hunting, but he had a lifetime love for fishing. He was fortunate to have fished all over the country, including annual fishing trips to the Florida Keys. It was on one of those trips in 1987, where he landed his biggest catch, which was a 101 pound blue marlin. He was determined to pass on his love of fishing to his grandchildren by ensuring that each one of them had their own rod and reel as soon as they were born. Out of the hundreds of fishing trips he experienced, none compared to the one he cherished most, in which he and Lucy took their grandsons to fish for rainbow trout along the White River in the Ozark Mountains of Arkansas.

The family would like to extend their heartfelt thanks to the staff at Vitas Hospice for their undeniable kindness and compassionate care for Jake over the last few months.

Jake is survived and will be deeply missed by his loving wife of 66 years and caretaker, Lucy; his children, Danny Rawson (Nancy), Jan White (Randy) and Joni Lindstrom (Tom); 9 Grandchildren and 6 Great-Grandchildren. He is also survived by a sister, Betty Stokes, and a brother, Denver Rawson, along with numerous nephews and nieces.

A visitation for family and friends will be held on Thursday, July 19, 2018 from 6 pm-8 pm at McCrery and Harra Funeral Home, 3710 Kirkwood Hwy, Wilmington, DE. 19808. The funeral service will be on Friday, July 20, 2018 at 10 am at St. Paul’s United Methodist Church, 1314 Foulk Rd., Wilmington, DE. 19803. Burial will follow at Chester Bethel Cemetery, 2619 Foulk Rd., Wilmington, DE. 19810.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to Cal Farley’s Boys Ranch, P.O. Box 1890, Amarillo, TX 79174.