Funeral services for James Thomas Vercelli will be 10 a.m. Tuesday, July 30, 2019, at the Church of Christ on Merrick Drive in Ardmore with Willie Sanchez and Johnathan Wiles officiating. Interment will follow at Memory Gardens Cemetery in McAlester at 3 p.m. Visitation will be Monday evening from 6 to 7 p.m. at Craddock Funeral Home.
James Thomas Vercelli was born Jan. 24, 1968, to Ruby Earline (Green) and August James Vercelli in McAlester. He passed from this life on July 25, 2019, at the age of 51.
Jim graduated from McAlester High School in 1986. Upon graduation, he enrolled at Southeastern Oklahoma State University where he received a bachelor’s degree in business management in 1991. On Aug. 19, 1989, Jim married the love of his life, Tina Palmer, in McAlester. In 1994, they made their home in Ada where Jim worked at East Central University as a continuing education grant coordinator for 20 years. During that time he was instrumental in helping ECU procure several statewide grants including OERB and Literacy First. While in Ada he also had the honor of dressing as Santa Claus for seven Holiday seasons at local businesses and schools, as well as delivering gifts to underprivileged children on Christmas Eve. After retiring from ECU for health reasons, they moved to Ardmore in 2012 where the family became active members of the Church of Christ on Merrick Drive. In 2014, Jim became a volunteer mediator with the Early Settlement Mediation Office. He was certified in both Basic and Family mediation, helping individuals in disputes arrive to a mutually acceptable solution. He was selected as the South Central Mediator of the Year in 2017.
Jim enjoyed cooking for large crowds and volunteered whenever he could to cook at church functions. Family and friends always looked forward to gathering at his home to watch OU football and eat his culinary creations.
Jim was preceded in death by his grandparents, Tommie and Ruby Green; Harold and Pearl Ahl; mother-in-law, Lynda Palmer; and cousin, Mike Lalli.
He is survived by his wife, Tina Vercelli of the home; parents, James and Earline Vercelli of McAlester; daughters, Krystal Chick and her husband Monroe of Ada and Ashley Pittner and her husband Frank of Gainesville, Texas; sons, Andrew Vercelli and Nicholas Vercelli of Ardmore; sister Angela Tipton and her husband Brian of Aledo, Texas; brother-in-law, Mark Palmer of McAlester,; grandchildren; Bentley and Gage Jones of Ada, Stormie, Terrance, and Max Chick of Ada, Ashton, Farrah, Landon, and Marley Pittner of Gainesville; and nephews Joshua and Zachary Tipton; and his faithful furry companion, Bella the dog.
Serving as pallbearers are Johnathan Wiles, Andrew Vercelli, Nick Vercelli, Joshua Tipton, Zachary Tipton, Brian Tipton, Matt Temple, Mike Keys, and Johnie Fredman. Honorary pallbearers are Ralph Lalli, TJ Green, Tom Smith, Darrell Wilson, Susan Anderson, and Mark Palmer.
Memorials may be made to St Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital, The American Heart Association, and Sooner Youth Camp.
Online condolences can be made at