James (Jim) Edward Lessner, 77, passed away Friday February 3, 2021 at Las Cruces Memorial Hospital after a battle with COVID-19. Cremation has been entrusted to Baca’s Mimbres Crematory.
Jim was born and raised in Grand Detour Illinois, the location of the John Deere’s original blacksmith shop. After earning a Masters Degree in Accounting and Finance Jim went to work for John Deere Company. During his 25-year tenure with John Deere, 20 of those years were spent teaching evening classes with the goal of teaching after retirement. He retired in 1994 as a General Accounting Supervisor in the Industrial Marketing, Construction and Forestry Division.
Jim married Melody Lee (Presnell) on April 2, 1966 and together they raised 3 daughters. Upon retirement from Deere Jim taught for 10 years in the business department of Marycrest University. Jim’s time at Marycrest included 3 years as chairperson of the business department which included organization of international business trips for students to Germany and the Netherlands. In July 2004 Jim and Melody moved to Deming, New Mexico where Jim taught at Western New Mexico University as an Adjunct and tutored at the High School. Jim was an avid golfer throughout his life and he played and won many tournaments. He served as President of the Rio Mimbres golf course for 3 years.
Jim was preceded in death, 4 years to the day, by his wife of 54 years Melody Lee (Presnell) Lessner, along with his parents, Frank and Eleanor Lessner and his brother Patrick Lessner.
He is survived by their three daughters: Lisa Kopatich (Joe) of Olathe, KS, Kyra Lessner (Scott) of San Antonio, TX and Angela Lessner of New Mexico, as well as 3 grandchildren: Tyler Kopatich (Sawyer) of Fairfax, VA, Alec Kopatich of Pittsburgh, PA and Kylee Kopatich of Lawrence, KS.
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