Jimmy “Jim” Dale Denson

Jim Denson

Jimmy “Jim” Dale Denson, 71, died peacefully in Oklahoma City on Thursday, August 3 with his daughters by his side — leaving behind a legacy of tall tells, ridiculous jokes, and stolen trivia questions. Jim was born in 1952 in San Antonio, Texas to Mary Esther and Claud Denson.

His mother was known for her sense of humor and for providing meals to those in need. Mary Esther stayed at home with five children while Claud worked for the Missouri Pacific Railroad as a yardmaster – a place that housed an old train caboose where Jim and his siblings could play for hours.

At age 7, Jim believed he could fly and tried repeatedly to prove it by jumping off the roof of his family’s home with sheets tied to him. By 19, he’d given up the silly notions of boyhood and joined the circus “to see the world.” He made it to Florida. Months of setting up tents, never showering, and having odd run ins with clowns convinced him to head back home to Texas. After having two daughters — and moving to Oklahoma to be closer to his sister and brother-in-law— Jim decided it was time to finally “get serious.”

He went to Oklahoma City Community College to become a Physical Therapist Assistant (PTA) and graduated at the top of his class while working full-time and raising two young daughters. Working with his patients was one of the highlights of his life and something he spoke about often. Jim made sure his daughters were well-versed in “Oklahoma history.” He shared stories about flamingos once roaming the Great Plains (only to be trampled by the buffalo) and details about a piece of the Great Wall of China being hammered through the Earth to appear in a local Pizza Inn (confirmed by the manager to two very curious little girls).

Despite his strong grasp of history and the facts, Jim would never play Trivial Pursuit with the family. He would instead yell out the answers from the other room no matter how many groans he got in return. Jim enjoyed refurbishing old computers and donating them to those in need; visiting the Yukon Senior Center for good coffee, lunch, and conversation; playing guitar at home when his hands would cooperate; and spending time with his loved ones.

He was an incredible single father, a loving brother, and a devoted friend, and he became a diehard OSU and Dallas Cowboys fan who never met a Sooner he couldn’t root against. He also loved his cats Sophia and Megabyte. In short, Jim was larger than life, loved to make others laugh, and could talk anyone under a table about any topic (trust us on this one).

Jimmy “Jim” Dale Denson

He is survived and remembered fondly by his daughters and son-in-law, Jessica Denson, and Jennifer and Alan Roland; sister and brother-in-law, Sally and Richard White; brother and sister-in-law, John and Jane Denson; and niece, Kim Boward. Jim was preceded in death by his siblings, Esther Boward and Ross Denson.

A memorial lunch and remembrance time for family and friends will be held Saturday, August 19 at 11:30am at Swadley’s Bar-B-Q, which is located at 4000 N. Rockwell Ave, Bethany, OK 73008. Jim suffered from Dystonia and its constant pain for 24 years. In lieu of flowers, the family is asking for donations to be made in Jim’s honor to the Dystonia Medical Research Foundation at dystonia-foundation.org.