James spent most of his growing up years in Stillwater, Okla. From 1955-57, he went with his family to live in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
James graduated from Stillwater High School. He had an associate degree in drafting from Oklahoma State University.
He served active duty in the U.S. Navy for about two years, where he achieved the rank of yeoman third class. His ships were the USS Maddox and the USS Brinkley Bass. He received the National Defense and the Vietnam Service Medals.
After his naval release, James attended Oklahoma State three more semesters and then began a business career with Dover Corporation, Norris Division. He was primarily a sales engineer for Dover for 25 years in Tulsa, Okla., and Atlanta. While based in Atlanta, his sales territory was a large part of the eastern seaboard. Later, James worked for 14 years as technical writer and cost estimator for AID Corporation in Clayton.
James lived in Clayton out in the woods in a house he designed. He spent numerous hours on his deck and tramping through the land he loved while listening to the rushing creek and the singing birds and watching deer come down in the evenings. He was known for his humor, his interest in just about everything and his creative abilities. His final message would be “Go live your lives and laugh often.”
James leaves behind: his sisters, Linda Burley and spouse CK Woo of Davis, Calif., and Elanus Symon and spouse Randy of Trenton, Ohio; a son, Derek Frazier and spouse Tammani and their children, Tristan and Sadie, all of Tyler, Texas; nieces, Alisha Woo of San Francisco, Rebekah Symon and son Jackson of Franklin, Ohio, and Katie Lamb, spouse Jeremy and their children Wyatt Smith, Cassidy and Lacey Lamb, all of Franklin, Ohio; and nephews Roger Symon of Franklin, Ohio, and Geraldton Symon, spouse Carrie and son Ethan, all of Trenton, Ohio.
Beck Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements. An online guestbook is available at http://www.beckfuneralhome.com.
The Clayton Tribune, May 3, 2012