James Neal "Jelly" Jellison

May 27, 1943 ~ March 31, 2024 (age 80) 80 Years Old
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James "Jelly" Jellison Life Story

James Neal “Jelly” Jellison, 80, of Elkhart, passed away peacefully in his sleep on Easter Morning, March 31, 2024 at 3:33 am while convalescing at Eastlake Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Elkhart.

He was born in Elkhart on May 27, 1943 to the late Wavelyn D. “Donald” Jellison and Evelyn Lucille Cartwright. He is also preceded by his step-mother, Helen Marcile (Flanding) Jellison. He is survived by his close friend Gary (Debra) Vyse of Lafayette, Gary’s daughter Angie (Adam) Franklin and his grandson Nathan (Kassie Alberts) Franklin, also both of Lafayette. Jim never married and, consequently, never had any children, making him the last member of his family, with, sadly, no known biological survivors.

Jim was a US Air Force veteran, serving four years and being honorably discharged as a sergeant in weapon control systems in 1967. He was also a very avid racing devotee, getting his feet wet in a go-kart named “The Red Rocket” at 12 years old. Years later he befriended Gary Vyse, and they raced together as close friends for the next 40 years. He raced micro midgets, mini sprints and even took the checkered flag behind the wheel of a stock car. In 1981, Jim took 5th place nationally in points within the National Micro Midget Racing Association.

 Jim spent several decades affiliated as a dispatcher with Elkhart County 911 Communications throughout the 80’s, 90’s and into the 2010’s. Known lovingly as “Jelly”, he is also believed to have spent a similar amount of time as a Lieutenant for the City of Goshen Fire Department and also for the Osolo Township Fire Department, stationed in north central Elkhart County.  After his retirement, Jim lived a quiet life by himself in a small home on Elkhart’s near north side, and pretty much kept to himself by his own accord. However, he never dropped his affiliation with the fire and emergency service and despite the fact that Jelly has no natural family, he currently leaves behind multiple shifts of emergency workers and first responders who, despite not being of Jim’s generational peers, will deeply miss and respect this devoted and dedicated career emergency worker and brother.

            Please follow Jim’s obituary information here for any updates on Jim’s life and for upcoming service times. Let us come together and remember this humble responder who never asked but always gave.

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Arrangements are pending

Billings Funeral Home
812 Baldwin Street
Elkhart, IN 46514


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