Atkinson Funeral Home - Harrisonville
600 W. Wall St.
Harrisonville, MO 64701
(816) 380-3268
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1948 - 2013 Obituary Condolences
July 23, 1948-Nov 6, 2013 William E. "Bill" James, 65, Harrisonville, Missouri, died Wednesday, November 6, 2013 at the Kansas City Hospice House in Kansas City, Missouri. Memorial services will be held at 4:30 p.m. Saturday, November 9, 2013 at the United Methodist Church in Harrisonville, Missouri with visitation from 3:00-4:30 p.m. Memorial contributions may be made to Kansas City Hospice House. Bill was born July 23, 1948 in Kansas City, Missouri, the son of William "Buster" and Zelma (Holley) James. He was a lifelong Cass County, Missouri resident and was a 1966 graduate of Harrisonville High School. He attended the University of Missouri at Columbia, and spent four years active duty with the United States Air Force, serving in Biloxi, Mississippi, Okinawa, Japan, and San Antonio, Texas. Bill was united in marriage to Mary Lee Brown on February 6, 1971 at the United Methodist Church in Harrisonville. She preceded him in death on January 2, 2009. From 1972-2000, Bill was Vice President Newspapers, Inland Industries, Inc., President of HLB Newspapers, Inc., President of Cass County Publishing, Inc. and publisher of the Cass County Democrat-Missourian. From 2000-2007, he was Vice President of Sales for Inland Newspaper Machinery Corporation and from 2007-2013, he was the publisher of the Daily Star-Journal in Warrensburg, Missouri. He was a member and president of the Missouri Press Association in 1998 and was inducted into the Missouri Press Association Hall of Fame in 2001. In 2013, the Missouri Press Association established the William E James Outstanding Young Journalist Award. Awarded annually, the aim of the award is to reinforce the importance of a journalist's role by recognizing and nurturing talent to further promote quality journalism. In 2012, Bill was appointed by Governor Nixon to the Missouri Military Preparedness and Enhancement Commission. He served on the Census 2000 Complete Count Committee in 1999; he was on the Missouri State Lottery Commission from 1990-2004, serving 12 years as chairman; a commissioner of the Missouri Senate Apportionment Commission in 1991; 18-year member and former chairman of Cass Medical Center Board of Trustees; member and chairman of Cass County Industrial Development Authority; member and past president of the Harrisonville Area Chamber of Commerce; member and past president of Harrisonville Kiwanis Club. Bill had served on the Commerce Bank of Kansas City- Harrisonville Branch board, for 20 years. Bill married Dorothy Smith on December 26, 2010 in Harrisonville. He was a member of the United Methodist Church in Harrisonville and a former member of the Board of Trustees. He was a member of Cass Masonic Lodge No. 147, Harrisonville. He had been active in Democratic politics in Cass County, having served as chairman of the Democratic Central Committee and also a former chairman of the 122nd Legislative District Democratic Committee. He was a former chairman of the 31st Senatorial District Democratic Committee and had served on the 4th Congressional District Democratic Committee and the Democratic State Committee 31st Senatorial District. Bill was preceded in death by his parents and his wife, Mary Brown James. He is survived by his wife, Dorothy, of the home; two sons, Alex James and wife, Sheri, Overland Park, Kansas and Doug James and wife, Allison, Memphis, Tennessee; two daughters, Lesley Nasalroad and husband, Michael, and Charlotte Matthews and husband, Patrick, all of Olathe, Kansas; one sister, Holley Brundick and her husband, Dr. Ed Brundick, Evansville, Indiana; and 7 grandchildren; Molly, Lucy, Avery, Will, Abby, Delaney, and Evie. (Arrangements under the direction of Atkinson Funeral Home, Harrisonville, MO. Online condolences may be made to atkinsonfuneralhome.com)
Published in Kansas City Star on Nov. 8, 2013
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