James W House
October 12, 1934 – January 3, 2021
James Wesley “Jim” House died peacefully at home in Casselberry, Florida on January 3, 2021. He is preceded in death by his first wife, Evelyn “Chris” Christensen; by his second wife and mother of his children, Kathryn “Kit” House. He now smiles down on his family that includes his wife, Billie Jenson Conlon, her three daughters, Deb Newell (Steve), Teri Conlon (Bill), Linda Kovach (Steve), and two sons Joe Conlon (Mirla) and Thomas Patrick Conlon who has preceded him in death. He will also be greatly missed by his daughters with second wife Kit — Teresa House Cameron, and Genise Jerman (Russell).
Jim adored his many grandchildren, Scotty Jerman (Kristy), Shawnna Martinez, Katie Newell, Mathew Newell, Tori Conlon, Alex Kovach, Leah Kovach, Solange Conlon, and Carlos Conlon and his 5 great-grandchildren, Kathryn Martinez, Izabella Martinez, Jacob Garcia Madison Jerman and Mason Jerman. He was proud of all their achievements, making great effort to attend recitals, sporting events, and special occasions with them all. He found joy in seeing and supporting them succeed in life.
Jim began his earthly journey on October 12th, 1934 in Aberdeen, South Dakota, the son of Chester and Rosie House. He grew up in Faulkton, South Dakota. He was an accomplished athlete as well as student body president at Faulkton High School. He was the local and district president at Methodist Youth Fellowship. He also enjoyed hunting and fishing with his dad. He was close with his sister, Beverly, who passed away in 2007.
After graduation, he began his studies at Macalester College in St. Paul, Minnesota, interested in becoming a doctor. He took leave of his pre-med studies and enlisted in the US Navy, serving from 1957 through 1959.
After serving his country, he moved to the west coast enrolled at UCLA, earning a degree in Psychology in June of 1960, ultimately accepting an offer to work for the U.S. Government in Washington, D.C. Jim spent 32 years in faithful service to the U.S. Government.
On May 26, 1962, Jim House married Kit Dodds and established their household in Northern Virginia. Jim put Kit through nursing school and together they raised their two girls.
At a surprise party for his 40th birthday, Jim got a set of golf clubs, and a new passion was ignited. After Kit’s untimely death to cancer in 1990, he poured his heart into his children, his grandchildren and into his golf game, remaining single for 20 years and innumerable rounds of golf.
As Jim brought light and laughter into the world, so fate seem to pay him back. A high school reunion rekindled romance between Jim and his high-school sweetheart, Billie Jenson Conlon, who had also been widowed. After more than 50 years apart, Billie and Jim were married on July 26, 2008. The happy couple have lived the last 12 years as snowbirds — traveling to see family, gardening, and enjoying an active retirement. They both have taken great pride in watching their grandchildren grow into successful adulthood.
Those who knew Jim will remember his prodigious sweet-tooth — his homemade caramels and baked goods were coveted far and wide, and he never met a Danish he didn’t love. Toward the end of his days, when his appetite was small and his words escaping him, Jim knew exactly how to tell caregivers his desire for another “Flying Saucer” pastry from the local Publix bakery.
Jim House was a man of integrity, kindness, and generosity to others. He had an incredible work ethic and a strong sense of loyalty to his family, his friends, and his country. His disposition was almost always sunny, and he shared laughter and good-natured ribbing with those he loved. Jim leaves behind a large family — sad for its loss, but united in the celebration of his life. Surely, he is resting in peace at the 19th hole.
A small graveside service will take place in the near future. The family requests that in lieu of flowers to please make a donation to Advent Hospice of Altamonte Springs Florida or the Alzheimer's Association.