Richard F. "Big Red" James (1935 - 2019)

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Chapel Lawn Funeral Home
8178 Cline Avenue
Crown Point, IN

Richard F. James "Big Red"

DYER, IN - Richard F. James "Big Red", age 84 of Dyer, Indiana passed away on November 2, 2019. He was the youngest of four children born to the late Thomas and Marie James on February 15, 1935 in Hammond, IN.

He is survived by son, Richard (late Paula), daughter, Lisa (Pete) Trivunovic, Grandsons, Richard and William, Granddaughter, Courtney, Great grandson, Austin, sister, Betty (late Charles) Waligura, sisters-in-law, Kathryn (late William) James, Diane (late Charles) Betts and Eleanor (late Gerald) Betts, Nephews, Thomas (late Lorene) James, Andrew (Sue) James, Richard James, William (Laura) James, John (Pam) Betts and Tim Sutton, Nieces, Kathleen Waligura (Walter Janowski), Karen (Tom) Muchesko, Cheryl (Greg) Cecil, Joni (Dwayne) Moehl, Pamela James, MaryBeth (Nena) James, Debbie (Mike) Paris, Dawn James, Sherryl Mack, Susan (Kevin) Thompson and Paula (Tim) Betts, and numerous great nieces and nephews. He is preceded in death by his beloved wife, Marjorie (nee Betts), brothers, William and Thomas (Lorraine) James and his lifelong friend since kindergarten, Thomas Blaskovich.

Richard and the James family moved to Dyer in 1941 and he remained a Dyer resident until his passing. Due to his red hair and large stature, he became known to his friends as "Big Red", a nickname that stuck with him for life. He graduated from St. John Township "Dyer" High School where he excelled in football, basketball and his first love, baseball. He went on to attend Indiana University in Bloomington where he was starting catcher for Varsity baseball for 3 years. He worked midnights as a police officer for the Town of Dyer while attending Valparaiso University School of Law. During the summers of his college years, Red played baseball for Sam & Henrys Indians in East Chicago, IN. As a catcher, he was known as a fierce competitor. He worked out with the Brooklyn Dodgers and if not for an ankle injury in high school, he probably could have made the major leagues. He served in the United States Army Reserve from 1960 -1966.

In December of 1964 he encountered Marjorie Betts at the Hammond Times and asked her on a date. They married on November 13, 1965 and theirs was a love affair that lasted 36 wonderful years. Early in his law career, he served as Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Indiana followed by Hammond City Attorney. Eventually he settled into private practice with his brother William and so began the firm of James and James, later becoming James James and Manning. During the years in private practice he also served as Attorney for St. John Township. Upon his retirement in 2004, he enjoyed traveling, spending time with family and friends, his weekly lunches with "the old timers" and watching his beloved St. Louis Cardinals and I.U. basketball as well as becoming a member of the Dyer Historical Society. He was a great father, grandfather, son, brother, husband, uncle, attorney, mentor and friend. He will be greatly missed by all who knew, loved and respected him.

Funeral services were entrusted to CHAPEL LAWN FUNERAL HOME, Crown Point, IN. In lieu of flowers, please make a donation to Ronald McDonald House, Hospice of the Calumet Area or any charity close to your heart.


Published in The Times on Nov. 10, 2019
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Crown Point, IN   (219) 365-9554
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