James Hobson was born on December 30, 1922 in Chicago, Illinois to John Surtees Hobson Sr. and Mary Ellen Jones. James attended public school, St. John's Military Academy and Purdue University. Drafted into the army in 1943. He was assigned to the 397th Field Artillery in France, Italy and Germany and was awarded the Bronze star for stopping an artillery barrage. He also attended Signal Corps Motion Picture School in London and was discharged in 1946. In the same year, he attended the Pasadena Playhouse where he met Elsie Holmes, a talented and successful actress in stage and movies from Yazoo City, Mississippi. They married in 1950. James began his career as a cameraman for Channel 13, KLAC TV in 1949. He made the transition to producer director in 1952 with "The Liberace Show". He became director of "The Lawrence Welk Show" in 1955 and in 1962 became the producer/director of the Welk show until his retirement in 1986. After Elsie Hobson died in 2001, James met actress, singer and writer Ashley Aarons. In 2005, they founded " Coffee Dog Productions" and he produced a catalogue of songs and a musical in pre-production entitled, "Dance Myself Free". They married in 2010. His hobbies included building a "Rogallo Wing Hang Glider", sailing and collecting model airplane engines. James Hobson died in his wife's arms in Santa Monica on April 26, 2013. Services will be held on Thursday, May 23rd at 12:00 noon at the Old North Church, Forest Lawn Hollywood Hills, 6300 Forest Lawn Drive, Los Angeles, CA 90068. For information, contact: (323) 769-7342

Published in the Los Angeles Times from May 19 to May 21, 2013