Neil James Sr. Obituary
"Off we go, into the wild blue yonder, climbing high into the sun!" This line, sung with warmth and affection, became a daily ritual for Kim as she gently helped dad transition from his hospital bed to his wheelchair. It was during these tender moments that the depth of their bond shone brightly, symbolizing the unwavering strength and love our family, even in the face of life's toughest challenges.
Born an only child in Mobile, Alabama, on December 16, 1943, Neil Patton James Sr. died peacefully at home surrounded by family on December 20, 2023. Neil was a man who cherished simplicity and the joys of life. His tall stature, standing at 6'4", and his formidable presence on the football field earned him and his fellow linemen at Murphy High School the nickname "The Terrible Turks." This playful moniker hinted at his larger-than-life personality and his love for the game that he carried throughout his life.
His journey was one of love and legacy, marked by the laughter and footsteps of a large family. He was a devoted father to four children, a doting grandfather to twelve, and a proud great-grandfather to fifteen. Each child and grandchild was a testament to his love and the time he dedicated to them, creating a tapestry of memories woven with care and affection.
His love story with Carolyn, his wife of over 61 years, was one of mutual respect and deep affection. They navigated life's ups and downs together, their bond strengthening with each passing year. Her support was a constant in his life, a foundation upon which he built his life.
A man of the outdoors, he relished the tranquility of nature, whether it was hunting, fishing, or just sitting at his kitchen window watching the blue birds nest. He was a pillar of strength and support for his children, ensuring they never wanted for anything and always felt his unwavering support.
His professional life was marked by a deep commitment to education and mentorship. Working for the State of Alabama, he dedicated many of his years toward guiding at-risk young adults towards brighter futures. Several of these young individuals remained part of his life, a testament to the impact he had on their journeys.
A proud alumnus of the University of Southern Mississippi, he embodied the spirit of determination and resilience. His life was a beautiful blend of personal passions and professional achievements, marked by the countless lives he touched and the love he shared with his family.
As we remember him, let's celebrate the life of a man who lived fully and loved deeply, leaving behind a legacy of strength, kindness, and enduring love. His story, like the song he and Kim shared, soars high into the sun, reminding us of the beauty of life and the power of love.
Neil was preceded in death by his parents Geraldine and Pat James, and is survived by his wife, Carolyn, daughters Ann (Dale) Eubanks, Kim James, Karen (Tommy) Barnard, and son Pat (Stacey) James.
Memorial services for Neil will be held on February 3rd, 2024, at Springhill Baptist Church at 10 AM, with Pastor Ben Stubblefield officiating. Visitation will be held prior to the services in the Foyer of Springhill Baptist Church from 9 AM to 10 AM.
In lieu of flowers, please consider making a donation to Waterfront Missions or Volunteers of America in Neil James Sr.'s name.