James Dale Zorn
May 21, 1953
April 16, 2018
James Dale Zorn, 64 of Burton and the husband of Mary Jane Zorn, died Monday evening, April 16th at his residence.
Mr. Zorn was born in Harris County on May 21,1953, the fifth and youngest child of Minnie and Max Zorn. The family bought a dairy on FM 1948 across from Rehburg Church and moved to Burton in 1957. James grew up riding his bike up and down the dirt roads with his brother Mike and helping on the farm.
James made his profession of faith in Christ during his teen years and was an active member of First Assembly of God, Brenham and later, Greenvine and Calvary Baptist Churches. Fellow youth group member Larry Shupe stood up for him as best man when he married Mary Jane Ricks in 1979. His mom had met Mary Jane and thought James should ask her out. Whether he agreed or just wanted her to quit bothering him, we’ll never know but, on September 1, 1978, they had their first date. James proposed on February 13th and they were married on June 16, 1979. He always enjoyed that they celebrated the day before Valentine’s Day – no crowds or gimmicks.
James and Mary Jane were blessed with three wonderful sons, Lesley, Aaron and Will. There were some great years following the boys to performances and games. A family of musicians, James also became a “football dad” when Will took up the sport in junior high. He was very proud of their accomplishments when all three graduated from college. Lesley became a teacher, Aaron an Air Force Major and Will an Army Captain. Along the way, he gained three beautiful daughters: Katy (the ONLY person he’d drive three hours to hear sing opera) Elizabeth and Rachel. They doted on him and he thought they hung the moon.
James loved music and began playing guitar at an early age. He and his brother studied under J. W. Richter and later Mike Hines. They both became accomplished guitar players, getting their chops playing “on the platform” at First Assembly. James later took up the bass and that is how he is remembered. He loved Gospel music and classic country music: Ray Price, Bob Wills, Waylon and Mel – not that trash they play on the radio now.
James left school in 1968 and began ten years as a fulltime dairyman. He loved working outdoors and believed every job was worth doing well. By the time he married, he was ready for a new challenge and got a job at Tiemann Bros./Duckworth Tractor as a delivery driver and implement mechanic. Mr. Duckworth hired him on his knowledge of how James took care of the tractors the family owned and knew he’d be a valuable employee. He met several men who became lifelong friends, including his buddy Gary Gaskamp.
After a brief stint as a dump truck owner, he saw an ad for a driver at Washington County Tractor. He got the job and was employed there for over 35 years. James was a very conscientious worker and was respected by those he worked with.
James was a man of simple tastes and high standards: a good steak, the right cap, good fitting boots and a well-written song. He read the Bible daily, attended church on Sundays and set the standard for how a Godly man should lead his family.
His parents and siblings Barbara Zorn and Harold Zorn as well as sister and brother-in-law Maxine and Philip Edwards, brother-in-law John B. Scogin and niece Tracy Scogin preceded him in death.
He and Mary Jane were married nearly 39 years. She survives him as well as three sons and their wives: Lesley and Katy Zorn of Deer Park, Aaron and Elizabeth Zorn of Austin and Will and Rachel Zorn of Belton. He is also survived by his brother Michael Zorn of Burton, brothers and sisters-in-law Patsy and Joe Kaelin, George and Patricia Scogin and Gerald Ricks, his nephew and family David Edwards, wife Tonya and niece Madison of Corsicana. He will be missed by his other nieces and nephews including John P. Scogin, Billy Scogin, Lashell Carrick, Michael Scogin, Julie West, Trish Wiggins, Donna Ducote, Jennifer Bell and their families. He leaves five adored grandchildren: Jackson, Grayson and Kensi Zorn of Deer Park and Thomas and Drew Zorn of Belton.
Services for James Dale Zorn will be as follows: Visitation will be Friday, April 27th from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. A memorial service will be held Saturday, April 28th at 2 p.m., both at Calvary Baptist Church, 1100 Niebuhr, Brenham, TX.
Anyone wishing to honor Mr. Zorn with a memorial gift is invited to consider Hospice Brazos Valley.
Services are in the care of Brenham Memorial Chapel, 2300 Stringer St., Brenham, TX.
979.836.3611 Share messages at www.BrenhamMemorialChapel.com