Sky Scene 07
Official Obituary of

James W. Koonce, Jr "Tarese"

December 1, 1960 ~ February 27, 2024 (age 63) 63 Years Old

James Koonce, Jr "Tarese" Obituary

 “May the work I’ve done, speak for me…!”

And I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Write, Blessed
are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: Yea, saith the
Spirit, that they may rest from their labours; and their works do
follow them. Revelation 14:13

A Decree was issued, the Command sent forth and the Call was answered on Tuesday, February 27, 2024.  The new residency prepared in Glory for James Willie Tarese Koonce was ready and his departure was at hand. Born to Marjorie Elmira and Willie James Koonce on December 1, 1960 at Albany Medical Center Hospital in Albany, New York, Tarese was the second of six children.  

As a young boy, Tarese grew up in Catskill where he resided for ten years until his family relocated to Albany, living for periods in both uptown and downtown. As a child, Tarese attended Mt. Zion Baptist while in Albany and Second Baptist Church while in Catskill.  He and his siblings sang in the youth choir. As an adult, he attended Mt. Pleasant Baptist Church and Walls Temple AME Church.  He often volunteered his time assisting with church activities and projects.

Tarese received his formal education achieving his General Education Diploma (GED) and an Associate’s degree from Hudson Valley Community College.  He was employed with the New York State National Association of Social Workers where he retired after 36 years of dedicated service.  His retirement was short-lived as he was requested and later returned to NYS National Association of Social Workers as a Private Contractor to train staff members.

Tarese had several interests; he liked working with his hands and was frequently found working on a house project. He loved playing cards with his brothers and cousins and spending time with his family, especially his children.  He loved cars and was a self-proclaimed “Mercedes Man!”  Tarese was a consummate sportsman, an avid fisherman, and a hunter and enjoyed weightlifting and working out. He was a die-hard NY Giants fan and enjoyed watching them play. One of his greatest sports moments came in 2016 when as a member of the TARVER Basketball League, they were honored by Mayor Sheehan for having an undefeated season. He was overjoyed when the award was presented at the Tarver Family Reunion. Tarese loved old-school music, specifically The Four Tops, “Let’s Do It Again” by the Staple Singers, and countless others.  His favorite TV shows were Cheaters and Court TV.  

Tarese was a talker and always enjoyed good conversation. Whenever he had an opportunity, he deposited pearls of wisdom into those he loved and cared about. He had a deep affection for the ladies, but he was forever a Mama’s Boy! Having the benefit of growing up in a strong family, he consistently advocated for and respected strong men who assumed their rightful place in their homes.

Tarese is preceded in death by his parents, Willie James, and Marjorie Elmira Koonce, grandson, Khiryn Ali Sims and his sister, Tonjia Elmira Koonce.

He leaves to cherish his memory and sorely miss his presence, his children, Kiona King, James Jr., Channing, Diamond, William, Elise and Tyshana Koonce, Marquis Chisom; grandchildren, Keith Jr and Ke’Azhane Childs; great grandchildren, Kei’Zharri, Kei’Shonte, Davion, Khali, Kehlani, Keimora Childs, KhiZhan A. Sims, all of Albany, NY; Siblings, Kenneth Koonce, Willie Lee (Mary) Koonce, Marlene Koonce, of Albany NY, Terry (Lisa) Koonce of Guilderland, NY, James Brown Jackson; Tarese also leaves His loving friend DeShauna Thomas. aunts, nieces, nephews, and a host of cousins, extended family members, and friends to miss him.

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March 9, 2024

9:00 AM to 10:30 AM
Elijah Missionary Church
74 Second Ave,
Albany, NY 12202

Celebration of Life
March 9, 2024

10:30 AM
Elijah Missionary Church
74 Second Ave,
Albany, NY 12202

Interment following funeral service
March 9, 2024

Evergreen Memorial Park
2150 Central Ave
Schenectady, NY 12304


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