James B. Hargrove Jr., of Prague, passed away on Aug. 26, 2019, in Prague at the age of 85.

James B. Hargrove Jr., of Prague, passed away on Aug. 26, 2019, in Prague at the age of 85.

James was born on Feb. 11, 1934, in Okfuskee County. He was the son of Blake and Olive (Walsh) Hargrove.

James graduated from Prague High School with the Class of 1952 and went on to receive his bachelor’s degree from Oklahoma A&M University in 1956. Following his time at Oklahoma A&M, James took his first job as a teacher in 1957 with Mason High School as an ag teacher. The next year, he worked as an ag teacher for Stillwell High School, where he met Jackie Chaffin, and the two were married on Aug. 29, 1958. The two remained happily married for 61 years.

Following their wedding, James and Jackie moved to Tulsa, where James worked for the Tulsa Chamber of Commerce and then started his banking career with the Tulsa Clearinghouse and the Fourth National Bank of Tulsa. After spending some time in Tulsa, James wanted to move back home and to raise his family in a small town and out of the big city. In 1968, James was given the opportunity to come back home as vice president of the First National Bank of Prague and became president in 1977. James continued as president even as the bank merged with BancFirst. James retired as president of Bancfirst of Prague in 1998. Many lives were changed because James was open and willing to provide loans to those who needed them. Many around Prague obtained the first car, home or business. He was a staple in the community and had a great impact on everyone in it.

James’ influence on the community did not stop at the door of the bank. James was very civic minded and involved in all of the communities that he called home. James served as the first secretary of the Catoosa Port Authority. He was a proud member of the Prague Lion’s Club, Prague Chamber of Commerce, the Gordon Cooper Technology Center Board, the Charman of the Highway 99 Project Board, Trustee and member of First Baptist Church of Prague and numerous other boards. He received the “Outstanding Young Oklahoman Award” for his work on the Arkansas and Verdigris River Channel. He was later honored with a “Lifetime Achievement Award” by the Prague Chamber of Commerce for his influence and dedication to the Prague Community.

James greatest love and influence was to his family. James was a loving husband, father and grandfather. He and Jackie raised two strong and caring children and had many wonderful memories with their grandchildren and then their great grandchildren. James was very involved in his children and his grandchildren’s lives. He was supportive in all of their endeavors. Whether it was pulling a horse trailer to countless horse shows and helping Heath to win the State High School Horse Cutting Championship or traveling around to numerous softball stadiums to cheer on Beth, you would find James wherever his grandchildren’s events were being held. James had a lasting impact on many and will be greatly missed.

James was preceded in death by his parents.

He is survived by his wife, Jackie, one Son, Blake Hargrove Sr and wife Marva; one daughter, Leah Denney and husband Mike; four grandsons, Heath Denney and wife Emily, Jason Denney and wife Rachel, Blake Hargrove Jr and wife Kandice, Dillon Hargrove and one granddaughter, Beth Denney and six great-grandchildren. He is also survived by one sister, Francis Hrdlicka and many friends.

Funeral services are scheduled for Thursday, Aug. 29, (James and Jackie’s 61st anniversary) at 11 a.m.

Services will be held at First Baptist Church of Prague with Brother Tim Emmons and Brother Scott Hamilton officiating. Burial will follow at Prague Cemetery. The family will greet friends at Parks Brothers Funeral Service in Prague on Aug. 28 from 6 to 8 p.m.

Services are under the direction of Parks Brothers Funeral Service in Prague. An online guestbook is available at www.parksbrothers.net.