ROBERT "BOB" W. JAMES, Jr., 78
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LAKELAND - Robert "Bob" W. James, Jr. , 78, of Lakeland, Florida passed peacefully at Good Shepherd Hospice House on Thursday, July 3, 2014 after a long battle with Supra Nuclear Palsy.
Bob was born in Kokomo, IN to Florence and Robert James, Sr. He was a lifelong resident of Indiana, graduating from Kokomo High School in 1953. He began his career with General Motors at age 18 at the Delco Radio division in Kokomo. In 1960, he transferred to the General Motors Plant in Marion, IN, retiring after 33.5 years.
He married Myrtle Pulley, of Marion, IN, on May 24, 1957 at the Highland Park Church, Kokomo. They resided in Kokomo three years where their first child, Debra, was born before moving to Marion in 1960. Their second child, Joe, was born in Marion.
Bob dedicated years of service to several youth activities in Marion, IN. He assisted coaching youth baseball for the North Marion Dragons. He was very active in scouting, beginning with Cub Scouts at Allen School and advancing to Scout Master of Troop 684. During his 17 years in scouting, he took his troop on many adventures, exploring caves, canoeing through the boundary waters of Canada and hiking hundreds of miles, culminating in a trip to the National Philmont Scout Ranch in New Mexico. Bob was especially proud of Troop 684 attaining several Eagle Scouts, including his son, Joe.
He was a member of the Marion Elks Lodge before retiring to Florida.
In 1993, following Myrtle's retirement from Eastbrook School system, they moved to Lakeland, Florida. Bob enjoyed many years of fishing, golfing, and bowling. He was very active in his Sandpiper Community golf activities and enjoyed the usual games of shuffle board, cards and dinner dances.
Returning to Indiana each summer, Bob and Myrtle lived on Barbee Lakes near Warsaw, IN. This allowed them to participate in their grandchildren's summer activities. He was his granddaughter Kristin's biggest fan when she played softball for the Indy Bandits and as a Puma center fielder at St. Joseph's College, where he cheered her on in the NCAA Division 2 World Series from his wheel chair seating at home plate.
After being diagnosed in 2009, Bob remained active until the last six months of life when his disease progressed and he required total care. He remained at home with his wife, Myrtle, and was assisted by the Good Shepherd Hospice House and its volunteers.
Bob is survived by his wife, Myrtle, of 57 years, daughter Debra (Joseph) Paris of Plainfield, IN and son Joseph (Elizabeth) James of Wilkinson, IN. Additionally, he is survived by four grandchildren: Corey (Alyssa) James of Indianapolis, IN, Robert A. James of Greenfield, IN, Kristin and Bryan Paris of Plainfield, IN. Also surviving are two sisters, Janet (P.D.) Quirk of Sharpsville, IN, and Beverly McCombs of Peru, IN. He was preceded in death by his parents Robert Sr. and Florence James.
A Celebration of Life is planned in Indiana on August 23rd from 2 - 6 at the home of Joe and Liz James, 6228 N 1050 E Wilkinson, IN. Contributions in memory of Bob may be submitted to Good Shepherd Hospice House, 3450 Lakeland Hills Boulevard, Lakeland, FL, 33805.
Published in Ledger from July 11 to July 12, 2014