OBITUARY

Raymond F. X. James, Jr.

September 30, 1932April 11, 2021

Surrounded by family, Raymond Francis Xavier James, Jr. (88) entered heaven on Sunday, April 11, 2021. There will be a Rosary Vigil Service from 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday, April 22, 2021 at 6100 N. Lamar Blvd. and a Mass in celebration of Raymond James’ life will take place at 10:00 a.m. Friday, April 23, 2021 at St. Theresa Catholic Church in Austin with Bishop Vasquez of the Diocese of Austin officiating with a reception to follow. One of God’s best will then be laid to rest with full Military Honors at Fort Sam Houston National Cemetery on May 11th at 2:30p.m. Arrangements are under the direction of Cook-Walden Funeral Homes. Ray was born on September 30, 1932 in New York City. Growing up he spent summers on the family farm in Pennsylvania but he was educated in the city, graduating from Fordham Preparatory School in New York City in 1950. He went on to earn a Bachelor of Science degree in Pharmacy from Fordham University in 1954 and in December 1975 he received his MBA from California State University. A hard worker since childhood, he worked two jobs while in college in addition to joining the Air Force ROTC program in January 1951. He completed his Air Force training and was commissioned a 2nd Lieutenant in July 1954. On October 9th, 1954 he married Barbara Siska, a young lady from his New York neighborhood whose father had been his Boy Scout Leader. They started their married life in the city before Ray was called to active-duty in San Antonio on March 12, 1955. After being reassigned for pilot training, he earned his pilot wings in Florida on April 27, 1956. A career in the Air Force suited Ray. A Vietnam veteran, he retired after more than 20 years of distinguished service as a Lieutenant Colonel and Deputy Base Commander of Los Angeles Air Force Station (LAAFS) on November 30, 1977. Ray earned numerous decorations and awards during his years of military service some of which include the Distinguished Flying Cross, the Meritorious Service Medal, the Air Medal with Seven Oak Clusters, and the Air Force Commendation Medal with Three Oak Leaf Clusters, among many others. After retirement from the Air Force and a move to Austin he reentered the workforce as Director of Parking and Traffic at The University of Texas at Austin working 15 years for the University before retiring a second time in the early 90’s.

His next career was one of faith. In 1988 he was ordained a Deacon in the Catholic Church and was invited to join the Knights of Columbus. He “retired” after 27 years of service at St. Theresa’s Catholic Church in 2015 for a third and final time to enjoy a well-deserved rest.

Ray was preceded in death by his parents; Raymond F.X., Senior and Grace James; daughter Christy; brothers William and Robert James, and a sister, Florence Marie “Tossie” Scavo. He is survived by Barbara, his devoted wife of over 66 years; his children Gina Marie and her husband Kenneth Morris of Amarillo, TX, Vicky and her husband Marc DeRosa of Mesa, AZ, Lorrie and her husband Rob Wolf of Corona, CA, Ginger James and her husband James Barron of Hilton Head Island, SC, Celeste and her husband Rob Robinson of Austin, TX, and Ray (III) and his wife Heather James of Cedar Park, TX. In addition, he is survived by 11 grandchildren, Stephen, Shauna, Michelle, Sarah, Audrey, Laura, Mariah-Rose, Hadley, Ryan, Morgan, Reese, a great grandson, William plus nieces, nephews, and extended family far too numerous to list.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to the St. Vincent De Paul Society and memories shared at the Cook-Walden Dignity Memorial website (https://www.dignitymemorial.com/obituaries/austin-tx/raymond-james-10149672).

To access the autobiography of Raymond F. X. James, Jr., please visit bit.ly/raymondjamesjr

Services

  • Visitation

    Thursday, April 22, 2021

  • Rosary Vigil Service

    Thursday, April 22, 2021

  • Funeral Mass

    Friday, April 23, 2021

  • Graveside Service

    Tuesday, May 11, 2021

Memories

Raymond F. X. James, Jr.

have a memory or condolence to add?

ADD A MEMORY
Annette Gamble

May 4, 2021

I only found out today of Ray's passing. The world has lost a great man.

I first met Ray when he was teaching RCIA for adults that wanted to become Catholic. I was very fortunate to have his wife Barbara as my sponsor. As I got to know Barbara, I was able to get to know Ray. I remember asking him (while he was in charge of parking at UT) what his job was. His response was that he was the most hated man on the UT Campus. I loved his sense of humor and his wonder blue eyes.

Francie Frederick

May 1, 2021

As a new attorney at the U. T. System, I worked with Ray when he was the new Director of Parking and Traffic. We worked through court cases and writing new regulations (that remain in place today) and he was a delight as a client and a colleague. His story of choosing not to board a plane home (from Chicago?) is one that I have repeated to family and friends over the years--if something doesn't feel right, don't do it! He was a wonderful man and I miss him, but continue to apply lessons learned during our work together more than 40 years later.
Francie Frederick

Pat O'Neill

April 20, 2021

Ray James was a wonderful deacon, friend, and father. I knew him for many years and always admired his sense of humor, talent, and loving ways. He will be missed by everyone who had the privilege of knowing him.

Philip Burger

April 18, 2021

Hi Barbara and family,
Our deepest sympathies to you and your family on Ray's passing.
He was a great inspiration to our family as he ( and you) were our neighbor on Rockcrest street and we are on Currywood st. in Austin, TX. Also would see him and you at St. Theresa's Church.
He was the officating deacon who married my Daughter, Cora, to Tom Core, Jr. in 2000 at Vintage Villas in Austin, Texas.
He had a wonderful life and we will always remember him in our prayers,
Love and Bless, Philip & Carolyn Burger, 8908 Currywood Dr. Austin, Texas 78759

Anne Haikola

April 13, 2021

We send our sincere condolences to Deacon Ray's family. We so enjoyed getting to know him through St. Theresa's RCIA program. He was a wonderful Deacon with a big servant heart, great sense of humor, and a blessing to the community. God Bless, Anne & Bruce Haikola

FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY