Jess Orville Cullison Jr was born in Anthony Kansas July 21, 1941 and passed away May 5, 2020 at Resolute Hospital New Braunfels, Texas. He will be laid to rest at Fort Sam Houston National Cemetery in San Antonio, Texas when the cemetery reopens sometime this summer.
Jess is the only child of Jess and Vera Leeper Cullison. He graduated from Shepherdstown High School, Shepherdstown West Virginia In 1959. He attended Shepherd College in Shepherdstown and Northwestern Oklahoma State University in Alva, Oklahoma before graduating with a BS degree in Industrial Engineering and minor in music from Southwestern Oklahoma State University in Weatherford, Oklahoma in 1965.
Jess joined the Air National Guard in Wichita Kansas and was called to active duty with the 184th Tactical Fighter Group in 1968 during the Vietnam War when the USS Pueblo was seized by North Korea. He was a Staff Sergeant in commercial transportation stationed in Korea.
Following active duty, Jess settled in Alva, Oklahoma and opened a welding shop which grew into Cullison Manufacturing where he produced drill hitches, grain carts, and oil well equipment. In 1969 he married Arnell Morris and they had two children. Chad and Monique. Cullison Manufacturing closed in 1987. Jess picked up his guitar and began playing with local bands. He worked as a studio musician and voice talent in Oklahoma and Tennessee eventually becoming a full time entertainer.
Jess opened Tall Grass Productions and Tall Grass Records with offices in Norman, Oklahoma and Nashville, Tennessee in 1989. He recorded a couple of albums as a singer and played bass on a number of others. During this time he had the number one record in Germany and the Pacific Rim. Jess opened for a number of celebrities including Alan Jackson, Lori Morgan, Ray Price, Mel McDaniel, Jack Green, and Bob Wills Texas Playboys.
Jess and Sharon Hubbell Jones were married December 21, 1991 in El Reno, Oklahoma. The couple lived in Okarche, Oklahoma while Sharon finished her teaching career then moved to Norman, Oklahoma until closing Tall Grass Productions in 2011. Jess and Sharon retired to Cibolo,Texas where they lived until his death.
Jess was a lifelong Oklahoma Sooner fan, and an enthusiastic OKC Thunder supporter. He was an avid golfer until his health slowed him. He worked with the Veterans Corner in Goldsby, Oklahoma and supported Veterans causes when he could. In his final year he became a great cook and loved to create new recipes to share with his wife. He was father of three Lhasa Apso puppies and considered them his family. Jess loved God, his family, and America.
Jess is survived by his wife Sharon of CIbolo, Texas. Son Chad Cullison of Denver, Colorado. Daughter Monique Cullison Phares and grandsons Damion and Dakota Phares of Mustang, Oklahoma. A stepson and daughter in law Paul and Mary Jones of Winston Salem, North Carolina. Many friends and relatives.
A celebration of his life will be held in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma on June 13. Contact a family member for details.