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John Harvey James, 94, Wisconsin Rapids, died Friday, December 21, 2012 at St. Joseph's Hospital, Marshfield with his beloved wife, Noel, at his side.
Mass of Christian Burial will be at 1:00 PM on Friday, December 28, at Saints Peter and Paul Catholic Church, Wisconsin Rapids. Father John Steiner will officiate. Visitation will be from 12:00 PM on Friday, December 28 at the church until the time of services.
John was born in Money, Mississippi on June 11, 1918 to Alex and Claudia (Harvey) James. The family moved to the Chicago Heights, Illinois partly to give John and his siblings the opportunity for an education. He married Gladys Kemp on September 8, 1941 in Chicago. John enlisted in the US Army on October 21, 1942 and served over three years in the Pacific theater on Saipan and Okinawa. He was on a ship ready to invade Japan when the atomic bombs were dropped and the war ended. John and Gladys were delighted to be the parents of three children: John Kempton, Edward Jerome and Eleanor "Sunday". Sadly, Gladys died in May of 1982 after 40 years of marriage. Love again found John and he married Noel Germann on November 11, 1983 at Our Lady Queen of Heaven in Wisconsin Rapids.
John completed 40 years of US government service. He worked at the VA, Agricultural Department and then Social Security Administration. He began his career with SSA as a file clerk and advanced through several promotions to manager in the processing of claims. During this time he also enrolled in night school. He used this knowledge to begin doing income tax returns and eventually had over 100 clients. At age 55 John took part in a trial retirement program within SSA. After one year of part time work as a bank teller, he decided to return to full time work at SSA, where he dealt with Congressional inquiries in the Critical Case and Expediting Staff for another ten years.
Retirement did not slow John down. He was always willing to help those he could. When Noel became involved in volunteer activities, he was always supportive and they often worked together. John also enjoyed music and sang in church choirs for many years. He also enjoyed dancing with Noel and traveling (even a honeymoon in Paris), and a good meal (buffets were his favorite).
John was proud to be a member of the American Legion.
Survivors include his beloved wife of 29 years, Noel; children, John Kempton James, Eleanor K. James Harrison and Delores James; daughter-in-law, Veola James; grandchildren, John K. James, Kimberly James-Small, Bonnie C. Harrison-Janecek PhD, Michael Barbee, Jasmine James and Ebony Joy James-Winston PhD; great-grandchildren, Danae James, Merari James, Yosef Montgomery, Chelsea Small, Chandler Small, Kendall Winston, Addison Winston, Mahala Inoey Harrison- Jamecek; brothers and sisters-in-law, Sue (John) Butler, Frank (Pam) Germann, Cynthia Germann, Barb (Fred) Zimmerman and Tom Germann; nieces and nephews, Jean, Tammi, Bill, Teresa, Angel, Bambi, Shawn, Shana, Shaye, Bradley, Christopher, Jade, Thomas and Kristen; 23 grand-nieces and nephews; and extended family and friends. He is preceded in death by his parents, Alex and Claudia James; first wife, Gladys James; son, Jerome James DDS and siblings, Alex, Virginia, Alice, Peter and Elnora.
Herman-Taylor Funeral Home is assisting the family.
Published in Wisconsin Rapids Daily Tribune on Dec. 26, 2012