William B James
December 12, 1933 – January 16, 2021
Bill "Jesse" James, 87, of Rives Junction, MI found himself in a pickle on January 16, 2021. He made the difficult decision to join his lovely bride, Judith "Judy" (Lynch) James, in their eternal garden. While he debated cleaning his rototiller prior to reconnecting with Judy, the family suspects she will be happy to see him either way. After being high school sweethearts, Bill and Judy married on June 29, 1956, and were together until she passed on October 23, 2013 to prepare the soil for Bill to join.
Bill was preceded in death by his parents, Lucille and Gerald James; his in-laws, Howard and Helen Lynch; sister-n-law, Terry (Rich) Frohriep; and his brother, Gary James.
Born on December 12, 1933, in Jackson, MI, Bill is survived by his two sons, Jeff James and Mike (Vicki) James, his only daughter, Julie (James) Harrison, his sister-n-law, Rose James, brother-n-law Doug (Pat) Lynch, and his faithful, stink-breath companion, Red Dog. Bill always found a way to get the most out of his children without violating child labor laws -- a quality that his offspring grew to admire and embody in the upbringing of their own children. He is also survived by his grandchildren: Jessie (Chad) Guthrie, Brent (Betsy) Waldofsky, T.J. (Bella) Waldofsky, Ben (Jessica) James, Chelsea James, Kylie James, Brooke James, Dalton Harrison, and great grandchildren: Trey Waldofsky, Gabrielle Waldofsky, Claire Peek, and Brady James.
Alongside his brother, Gary James, Bill dutifully served as a cook for the U.S Army from 1954-1956 at a military base in Hawaii. His service not only reaffirmed his love for our country, but he also learned how to make a cheap chip beef gravy (a.k.a s*** on a shingle) recipe that his family was fortunate enough to enjoy at Christmas for generations. Bill was a student of life and a mentor to many as a self-taught engineer, carpenter, welder, stone mason, farmer, and financier to name a few. He could build a house out of reclaimed bricks and fabricate a garden tool out of scrap metal. Bill will forever be remembered for the love of his family, Michigan State University/Leslie High School sports, and his relentless thirst for life, travel, culture, and knowledge. A formal memorial will not be held per Bill's wishes. His body will be donated to a doctoral medical research program at Michigan State University. In lieu of sending flowers or parting gifts, we would request that a donation be made to a program of your choice at Leslie High School.
Bill James. The man. The myth. The legend.