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John Thomas James

Columbia, Lexington County, South Carolina, USA
Death 5 Oct 2017 (aged 82–83)
Gastonia, Gaston County, North Carolina, USA
Burial Cremated, Ashes given to family or friend, Specifically: Private burial.
Memorial ID 184667815 · View Source
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John Thomas James, 83, devoted father, grandfather and mentor to many, departed this life on Thursday, October 5, 2017 at Peak Resource Center in Gastonia, North Carolina.

He was born in Columbia, South Carolina the son of the late Ed and Sarah Bagley James. He was preceded in death by his brother, Henry James.

John was a dedicated member of multiple organizations including: Life Time member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, National Association of Black Veterans, Lions Club, NAACP, George Washington Carver Consistory #172, The Order of the Eastern Star, and Mentors Inspiring Males for Success.

Anyone who met him immediately knew how passionate he was about education. He attended South Carolina State University on a basketball scholarship, graduating with a bachelor’s and master’s degree and pursued doctoral courses at New York University. John proudly served the United States Army from 1957- 1960 as a military policeman. He spent the bulk of his career as an educator, serving in a variety of roles throughout Gaston County, first as community director of the Boys and Girls Club (formerly Boys Club). Many remember John as the “go-to” counselor at Gaston College while also supporting students to continue their education at a four year institutions. In his “retirement” years he served as an elementary school principal, civic leader and developed a furniture business to keep himself busy.

He is survived by his loving wife of fifty-eight years, Willie Mae Jackson James; his son Tyrone James (Lisa); two grandchildren, Tori Kendrick (Ryan) and Dr. Desmond Patton; two sisters, Edna Lawton and Dale Laverne Scott; a host of nieces, nephews, other relatives, and friends.

Costner Funeral Home


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  • Created by: Bob Nuchols
  • Added: 27 Oct 2017
  • Find A Grave Memorial 184667815
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for John Thomas James (1934–5 Oct 2017), Find A Grave Memorial no. 184667815, ; Maintained by Bob Nuchols (contributor 46830425) Cremated, Ashes given to family or friend, who reports a Private burial..