James Steven Dempster

February 15, 1946March 26, 2021

James Steven Dempster received the gift of life on February 15, 1946, and the gift of eternal life March 26, 2021.

Jim grew up in Pittsburgh and graduated from the University of Pittsburgh. After graduation, he served in the Army as Captain and Company Commander at Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio. He was an entrepreneur and started the Dempster Corporation that sold table linens and accessories, founded MCC Manufacturers Credit Cooperative and MRCS Manufacturers Representatives Collection Service and, dear to his heart, was the child support collection service Family Advocate that he created.

Jim was active in the local Presbyterian churches, including acting as shepherd for the new member class and as a long-time facilitator for DivorceCare.

He showed tremendous courage, strength and determination in his long struggle with cancer. Jim’s strong faith was central to his life.

Many sought his wise counsel whether for spiritual, business, or personal guidance and you could feel he truly connected with you.

Jim was spiritual, wise, evangelical, loving, compassionate, empathetic, genuine, thoughtful, funny, honest, selfless, consistently stable-even keel, high morals and ethics, integrity, loyal, inspirational, optimistic, patient, reliable, solid, fair, caring, appreciative, intelligent, witty, well-informed, available, merciful, humble, prayerful, strong, sweet, eloquent in correspondence and speaking, the consummate gentleman.

We will miss his earthly presence, but will continue to feel his spirit forever.

He is remembered by his beloved wife of 27 years Karen “Katie”(Kanieski); much loved sister Lillie Young; nephew Chris Young (Liz) and children Cate, Scott, Grant; niece Erin Garrett (Judd) and children Frankie, Campbell, Kassity, Leigh, and Charlie; niece Lindsey Lee (Marc) and children Ryan and Parker; brother-in-law and friend of 50 years John Kanieski (Mary), nephew Chris (Laura) and grandniece Ava; sister-in-law Lynne Deucher (Ted), nephew Alex (Angela) and grandniece Arya, niece Allegra; brother-in-law Charley Kanieski (Liz) and nephew Aaron; sister-in-law Mary Kanieski; sister-in-law Geri Ann Sokell (Jim) and nephews Kyle and Kalin; brother-in-law Mike Kanieski (Sybille) and nephews Max and Ben and niece Carla; and countless friends whose lives he touched so deeply.

Jim was preceded in death by loving mother Stephanie Marie Dempster and father James Garfield Dempster, brother-in-law and close friend Charles Edward Young and grandnephew Calvin Garrett.

The funeral service will be private, but join us for the livestream on Tuesday, April 13, at 11:30AM with the link on obituary. Under 'Services', click on JOIN LIVESTREAM. ( Graveside service is open to all at 2:30PM that day at DFW National Cemetery, 2000 Mountain Creek Parkway, Dallas, 75211. Check the website for information on Monday. Or you can also join the livestream for this service on the same website obituary.

Donations are suggested to Billy Graham Evangelistic Association (BGEA) or the Salvation Army.



James Steven Dempster

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Geri Ann Sokell

April 13, 2021

We all will miss Jim-both Kyle and Kalin will kiss their Uncle Jim's rooting for the Steelers vs Browns as well as the political names their Christmas gifts were from! The great memories of when we visited Karen and Jim in Dallas in 2014-ate lobster, toured JFK museum, and of course every sports stadium nearby! Also we remember when they visited us when we were living in Tennessee and we all went to Asheville and Uncle Jim treated us to lunch and we all hiked Roan mountain. I will also miss his compliments of how wonderful our boys were raised! What a wonderful funeral tribute to a great person...Our hearts all go out to Karen.....
Geri Ann

Eileen Knight

April 13, 2021

I knew what a great man Jim was in high school. I was secretly in love with him. I have wondered about him all these years and I give you my sincerest regrets that he is gone. I'm glad he had children as he would have been a great Father, too. So sorry

Lynne Deucher

April 13, 2021

When I think of Jim I always think of traveling because we didn't live in Dallas, so one of the other of us would have to travel to see each other. Karen and Jim always showed us such a wonderful time when we visited them and we had an equally great time when they visited us. Always our shared love of restaurants, food and always wine. Of all our trips, the one to Provence was the best! I still love and wear the purple hat Jim got me there and it brings back all the great memories. I'm so sad we won't be able to travel together again or visit and drink wine together. We'll miss you Jim! Love you Karen.

Ted Deucher

April 13, 2021

Jim was a gentleman in every way who lived his beliefs with sincerity and dignity. He was an inspiration to so many, and he will be greatly missed by all whose lives he touched.


Allegra Deucher

April 13, 2021

Uncle Jim and Aunt Karen were like second parents growing up. They were wonderful hosts, and I always cherished spending the holidays with them. We enjoyed many of the same things like savoring good food, wine, and company as well as catching up on current movies and of course, traveling! My family and I got to take several trips with Jim and Karen including to the south of France which is still one of my family's favorite vacations ever! We will dearly miss Uncle Jim and remember him often. We love you Aunt Karen.

Mary Anne Zeller

April 13, 2021

Dear Karen,

My heart aches for you and is filled with sorrow. The funeral service for Jim was inspiring. His faith must have been one of his greatest attributes. I knew he was a very special person because you chose him, but today that assumption of mine was reinforced beautifully.

Prayers for everyone.

Mary Anne

Evelynn Reynolds

April 13, 2021

Goodness, what will we all do without our dear friend, Jim? Karen, thank you for sharing him with all of us these many, many years. I can only imagine the time you, also, sacrificed for Jim to counsel/guide/walk with the rest of us. I write this with both you and Jim in my heart. I met Jim in 1993 and it was, as many of your write below, a divine appointment in my own life. Recently divorced and mother of a then 7 year old little girl, I was broken and trying to find my way. I met Jim and soon went to work for him which is where my spiritual faith/growth was reignited. Jim always gave me his time and with his help, a new life for me began to unfold. He saw me through many years of struggle and even after I left his employ, we continued our friendship and he continued to walk along side of me.

Karen, you are an amazing wife and Jim bragged on you often to me. Especially your prayer life and your yoga headstands. They amazed him! I smile as I remember him telling me about you often and the love that oozed out of him for you. I know he adored you, as well he should have! He also told me stories of Lillie/Charles and all of their children . . .he was so proud of all of you and bragged on you often. You brought him joy and purpose.

My heart is broken today but my faith is strong. Jim persevered through a battle with cancer for so many years, and even then he was still praying for others. He is an example to me of how I wish to live my own life. And at the end of my life if I touch only a few as Jim did so many, I will count myself blessed. God bless you all, Karen/Lillie and Jim's entire family. Know that we are praying God's comfort, peace and grace into your lives today and tomorrow and all the days afterward. We love you.


Elizabeth Stetenfeld

April 12, 2021

It is hard to imagine life on this earth without Jim. He was a quiet and wise man who gave so unselfishly to others. Always positive and kind, he lifted me up and guided me through some tough times. He was always there for me (and many others) and very generous with his time. We prayed together and discussed our faith and I learned something new and life changing from his wisdom.

Jim reinforced my faith in God and gave me a different way to view the challenges that life brings. For this, I am eternally grateful. He changed my life.

Jim was a humble and good man. I will never forget him and his words will stay with me for the rest of my life. I miss him so much but he will always be with me in my heart.

Thank you Karen for unselfishly sharing Jim with us throughout the years. He loved you so very much.

Elizabeth Stetenfeld

Sparkman/Hillcrest Funeral Home

April 12, 2021

Sparkman/Hillcrest Funeral Home

April 12, 2021