William Hubert James went to be with Jesus after a long struggle with Alzheimer’s Disease. Bill was born June 28, 1936 in Detroit, Mich., was an only child and passed June 29, 2014 in Sedro Woolley, Wash.
Bill met his future wife, Diane – who also lived in Detroit, Mich. – in Sunday School when they were 13 years old. They went to Christian Service Camps and youth group together all through high school until they both graduated in 1954. They never missed a sock-hop or prom and got married March 8, 1956. Bill served in the U.S. Navy from 1954-1958 as a diver, lifeguard and pattern-maker. Bill and Diane had their first child, Debbie, in 1957 and son Bill was born in 1958.
Bill worked for Hunt Foods and attended night school at Cleary University in Ypsilanti, Mich. where he received his business degree. In 1962, Bill was transferred to Southern California. So, the James family packed their bags and moved to L.A. In 1966, their third child Jennifer was born. The family lived in Westlake Village for 30 years and in 1997, after retiring, moved to Orcas Island, Wash., where their youngest daughter Jennifer had moved to start her famiy.
In his late 40s and early 50s, Bill got involved with running marathons, triathlons and bike races. His family benefited from his fun-loving nature and went on lots of camping trips and crazy adventures. The James home was always the place to be. All the kids in the neighborhood adopted Bill as their second dad and Diane as their second mom. Everyone was welcome. Bill decided to turn the Westlake garage into a dance floor as there was always an excuse to have a party – whether it be New Years, Halloween, a birthday and even toga parties!
Bill was a man of faith and never missed a Sunday at church. Bill was an Elder at Agorua Hills Christian Church. He was an active member of the Westlaker’s Men’s Group.
While living on Orcas Island, Bill enjoyed his workshop and made lots of birdhouses for Diane to paint. In his 60s – 2002 – Bill and Diane kayaked around the entire Island of Orcas, along with several other friends. Unfortunately, Alzheimers got the best of Bill, but he still kept his quirky sense of humor and his infectious smile.
Bill is survived by his wife, Diane, his daughters, Debbie and Jennifer of Orcas Island, Wash., and his son, Bill of Mailbu, Calif. He has eight grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren. Bill was an amazing husband, father and friend to all. We will miss him dearly.
A Memorial Service will be held on Saturday, August 2 at 1 p.m. at the Orcas Island Community Church.
In lieu of flowers, the family request that donations be made to either: Orcas Island Community Church or Alzheimer’s Prevention Foundation at www.alzheimersprevention.org/ or Alzheimer’s Association: Alzheimer’s Disease and Dementia 100 W. Harrison St. Seattle, WA 98119, 206-363-5500.
Submitted by the James family.