James Woodrow Gorham IV
June 2, 1996 – April 29, 2021
James W. Gorham IV
James was born in St Louis, Missouri on June 2, 1996, to Jamie & Tennille Gorham. Extremely energetic from a young age he enjoyed playing with his toys and any ball he could find in the house. His favorite outdoor activity was playing with the dogs, but mostly making a run for the gate and climbing it when no one was looking. On multiple occasions, we would find James hanging upside down by a shoestring that had caught the top of the chain-link. He attended daycare Downtown with his parent's blocks away attending Harris-Stowe State University. In a few years, James was accepted and attended Kenard Classical Jr. Academy where he excelled at Math and Science. His grandmother Glenda became his instant tutor and babysitter, the two had a loving and inseparable connection for years to come. In 2002 his little sister Kylie Anne Gorham came along, wherever she was that's where he wanted to be. His older brother of 5 years, James Anthony Gorham was in double trouble! The three were instantly bonded for life with years full of mischief, mayhem, and memories. In 2004 the family moved to Tampa, Florida specifically the Brandon/Valrico area. Attending Brooker Elementary, Burns Middle School, and then onto graduating from Bloomingdale High school in 2014. Playing youth football for several years, James transitioned into high school football like a champ. Playing cornerback and special teams he excelled while still finding time to play hockey at the Brandon Ice Rink on the weekends. Taking his senior year off from football James intensified his workout regimen to be in top shape for a major bodybuilding contest, better known and Mr. & Mrs. Bloomingdale. Placing as the top runner-up and co-champion with the trophy to prove it, truly a day to remember. The next Fall James was accepted into the engineering program at the University of South Florida and began living the dorm life. In between and sometimes during classes he enjoyed the beach life in Tampa amongst all his friends, the ones he knew and the ones he met that day. Traveling with family abroad and riding dirt bikes came in a close 2nd. James was violently taken from us all on April 29, 2021, here in Tampa, Florida. He leaves behind his mother and father, sisters and brother, Grandmother Glenda, Grandfather Michael, Grandma Anne and Gordon, Grandpa Jim and Marion, Uncles Michael Joplin and Anthony Joplin, very special girlfriend Jenna DiDomenico; and friends Nicholas Rodriguez, Ozzie Saez, Christopher Wonsley, Antonio Colon, Donovan Marshall, Meghan Kelley, Hali Hosemann and a host of other friends and relatives.
We little knew that morning, God was going to call your name, In life, we loved you dearly, In death, we do the same, It broke our hearts to lose you, You did not go alone, For part of us went with you The day God called you home Don’t grieve for me, for now, I’m free.
As mom and dad we’d be remiss not to reiterate the verse tattooed on his right ribcage that reads: “Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil”
Tuesday, May 4, 2021
James Woodrow Gorham IV
May 4, 2021
I have so many fond memories of James, it's literally impossible to pick one. I remember the first time I ever saw James, skating backwards at the ice forum. I remember in 7th grade before we were friends, he caught my attention because his name was next to mine on the math teacher's white board for the fastest times to finish filling out our perfect squares up to 20. Of course I'd find out later my friend would always excel at math, I'd get so jealous when I needed his help on homework. But then I would write his papers because I was better at English!
As we got older we got into our fair share of trouble, but overall we looked out for each other's best interest. James was unapologetically himself, he had no filter, and that's why I valued his opinion and thoughts and advice so fervently, I knew he was always being real. Even when it was totally uncouth to do so!
We've grown up together, it's something you don't even really realize until you look back at all the time spent together, all the changes and growing you've done, and we remained friends through it all. Because James was one of those people you never let go of. He was too special, too unique, too fun. Friends like that transcend space, time, and change. I will always, always be so fiercely grateful that I knew him, that I could call him my friend. Rest easy James, you will always be cherished. ❤️
May 3, 2021
First, our deepest condolences to the family. James was Kalei and Devin’s math tutor. He got them through their toughest academic times. Today, they both credit their success in math to James; Devin said James is the BEST math teacher he ever had. Even when James was tired from his own studies at USF he would race across town to show up for my kids. We always saw his heart of gold. Our thoughts and prayers are with the family. Dennis and La Shawn Douglas
May 2, 2021
We are so very sorry for the terrible loss of James. I remember being at Harris-Stowe in 1996 when James was born. Our thoughts and prayers are with you. Mike and Beverly and The Brennans
May 1, 2021
James was one of the nicest, funniest, and outgoing person I've ever known! No matter how down someone was just being in his presence put a smile on even the saddest person's face! R.I.P brother. Hold it down for all of us up there in heaven and I'll see you someday!