Cover photo for James Hamilton Fletcher's Obituary
James Hamilton Fletcher Profile Photo

James Hamilton Fletcher

February 7, 1932 — May 14, 2023

Overland Park

James “Jim” Hamilton Fletcher, 91, a beloved educator and dedicated community member peacefully passed away in his sleep at home on Sunday, May 14, 2023. Jim was born in 1932 the only son of James M. and Martha H. Fletcher. He was married to Vernelle Jones Fletcher until her death in 1993.  The greatest blessing of his life was marrying Kay Nading. Their relationship allowed him to experience more love, joy, warmth, and companionship during the last 29 years than he ever dreamed possible.

Jim was a funny, compassionate man who led a life of service and touched the lives of countless individuals through his teaching career and involvement in various organizations.

Jim's passion for education began at Springfield High School in Illinois, where he graduated in 1949. He continued his academic journey at the University of Illinois, earning a Bachelor of Education degree in 1954. After graduating, Jim was drafted by the U.S. Army and served as an active duty Missileer at Fort Bliss, TX for two years followed by 6 years of service in the U.S. Army Reserves. He completed his Master of Education from the University of Colorado during his first 3 years teaching in the Aurora, Illinois Public School System.

In pursuit of new opportunities, Jim relocated to Overland Park, Kansas, and started teaching in the Shawnee Mission School District as a 5th & 6th grade school teacher. His passion for education shone brightly during his 33-year tenure at Highlands Elementary, where he impacted the lives of over 1,000 students. Jim's dedication to teaching went beyond the classroom, leaving a lasting impression on the lives of his students.

Throughout his professional life, Jim was an active member of the Phi Delta Kappa educational fraternity, showcasing his commitment to the advancement of education. He was a member of Lenexa Masonic Lodge #135 and Abdallah Shrine Temple, where he contributed his time and efforts to supporting various philanthropic endeavors. Jim enjoyed the Flying Faz as they were directly involved in flying patients and had fund raisers supporting the Shriners Children’s Hospital.

Beyond his professional and organizational commitments, Jim found solace and joy in his other hobbies. He had a knack for building model airplanes and ships, showcasing his craftsmanship and attention to detail. Jim also enjoyed woodworking which gave him a way to express his creativity.

Jim enjoyed the lifelong social connections that he developed bowling, playing poker, going to dinner theater, and a member of the church choir. He was an active member of A.M.I.C.A. where they played the automated musical instruments. He was a proud owner of a Monkey Organ and Baby Grand Player Piano.

Beyond his marriage, career & hobbies, Jim had three unusually strong passions. The love and friendship he shared throughout his life with his 7 beloved dachshund dogs, his childlike love of Christmas collections and his love of traveling throughout the Rocky Mountains all of which enriched not only his life but the lives of those closest to him.

Jim is survived by his loving wife Kay Fletcher, step daughters, Sarah (Jim) Orticelli, Lisa Nading, 2 grandchildren Alexa (Tim) Philicelli, Anthony (Kaitlin) Orticelli and one great granddaughter Nora Philicelli.

The Celebration of Life will be held at Rolling Hills Presbyterian Church on July 22, 2023 at 10:00 a.m. The family suggests contributions be made to the Cancer Society Research, Rolling Hills Presbyterian Church or a Memorial of your choice.

In life nothing is guaranteed but God’s love and grace, use your time wisely and bless those around you.


American Cancer Society
P.O. Box 6704, Hagerstown MD 21741
Tel: 1-800-227-2345

Rolling Hills Presbyterian Church
9300 Nall Ave, Overland Park KS 66207
Tel: 1-913-642-9100

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of James Hamilton Fletcher, please visit our flower store.

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Memorial Service

Saturday, July 22, 2023

Starts at 10:00 am (Central time)

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Rolling Hills Presbyterian Church

9300 Nall Avenue
Overland Park, KS 66207

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