Dr. James's Story

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Dr. James (Jim) Harding Siske went to be with his Lord and Savior Sunday, Dec. 10, 2017. He was born June 17, 1928, at the Utica State Hospital, New York State to parents Manley Arphew Siske (UVA MD class of 1927) and Anne Harding Saunders Siske (UVA BN class of 1924.)
In 1929 Dr. and Mrs. Siske returned to his family home in Pleasant Garden to his father's medical practice, Dr. J. A. E. Siske, who died in 1925. In 1930, the family moved to Kings Park Psychiatric Hospital on Long Island, New York, where James's sister, Mary Elizabeth was born.
On October 20, 1931, at the age of 34, while recreating at a beach party, Manley Siske drowned while rescuing his wife from a similar fate. Ms. Anne Siske was left with two children, Jimmy age three and Betty age one. She returned to live with her mother-in-law at Pleasant Garden. With her RN degree Ms. Siske took a position with the Veterans Administration and was stationed in Aspenwall, Pennsylvania, then North Port Long Island, New York, then finally finishing her career as chief nurse in Roanoke, Virginia. Jimmy and his sister Betty lived with their aunt, Pherlie Mae Lambeth, in Pleasant Garden. Jimmy graduated from the Pleasant Garden High school in 1945. He attended Appalachian Teachers College graduating in 1948 with a BA degree. He received his MA degree (history) from William and Mary in 1949.
He proudly served his country in the United States Army during the Korean War at Fort Slocum, New York. Upon discharge from the Army at age 26 he entered UVA and received his PhD in Guidance and Counseling in 1956. While at UVA he joined Phi Sigma Kappa Social Fraternity and served as president. Dr. James Siske was then employed as Director of Housing and Assistant Dean of Men at Arizona State College in Flagstaff, Arizona. Dr. Siske did a semester of foreign study at Australian National University and the University of Cape Town in South Africa where he traveled as far as Victoria Falls. In Egypt, he was met by his fiancée, Miss Gladys Phillips, of Iredell, and they married in Cairo on June 29, 1963. They honeymooned in the Holy Land, Paris, and Venice. They returned to the states on a Dutch ship, Waterman, and took up posts teaching at Navarro Junior College in Corsicana. They resided at 1411 W. Third St., as boarders in the Dockum home and eventually became the owners of the home.
In 1974 the couple moved to Iredell, where Ms. Siske had been born and raised and attended school. Both Dr. and Ms. Siske taught in the Iredell Independent School District. Ms. Siske died in 1988. Dr. Siske finished his teaching career as an interim lecturer at Texas A&M, Tarleton Branch. Dr. Siske was active in the Iredell Baptist Church, Bosque County Walk to Emmaus Fourth Day, Bosque County Retired Teachers Association and the Bosque County AARP. He often gave history lectures on the American presidents to senior citizen gatherings throughout Bosque County.
He is survived by his daughter, Sharon Siske-Crunk, and her family, spouse Jeffrey Crunk and grandchildren Elliott and Elizabeth, of Austin; his son Blaine Siske and his family, spouse Katrina and grandchildren Cade, Canon and Carsyn, of Highland Village and his son Grady Siske and grandson Grayson, of Flower Mound. He is also survived by his sister Betty Siske McManaway of Roanoke, Virginia, and cousins Melrose Moore Stocks of Winston-Salem, North Carolina and Jim Siske of Pleasant Garden, North Carolina.
Forbis and Dick Pleasant Garden Chapel is serving the Siske family.
Online condolences may be offered at www.forbisanddick.com.
Published on December 14, 2017
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