Jack K. James was born Aug. 19, 1920, in Roundup, Mont. In 1926, the family moved to Medford where Mr. James attended Medford schools and graduated from Medford Senior High in 1937.
In 1938, he started in the construction business with Marshall Bessonette by helping in the building of the former Big Y. He then served in the army from 1940-1945 where he was stationed in Alaska and later in the Pacific. At the war’s end, he was in Okinawa as a major in the Army Engineers.
Upon his return to civilian life, he again entered the construction
business with Bessonette and Graff. During this time, he helped in the
building of various schools in Ashland and Yreka, various office
buildings and sawmills in the area and the original Rogue Valley
Country Club. In 1956, Mr. James and W.A. Graff formed the partnership
of Graff & James. During this partnership, he built additions to
the Rogue Valley Hospital, Providence Hospital, Harry & David, cold
storage for various fruit industries, Mae Richardson Elementary School,
Central Point High School, and various building at Southern Oregon
College. In 1967, Mr. Graff retired and Mr. James continued in the
construction business as Jack K. James Construction and continued to
build for Harry & David, Olson Lawyer Lumber, Boise Cascade, and
3-M. In 1983, he sold the business to nephews, Sam James and Bill
James. They changed the name of the business to S&B James
Construction. The business has again been sold, but still carries the
name of S&B James.
He served for several years on the
board of directors of Rogue Valley Health Foundation and the Rogue
Valley Medical Center. He was also a board member of the former Star
Gulch Ranch and served for a time as interim director. He was chairman
of the board for Mercy Flights. He was also involved with the building
of Eagle Point Stadium and gave generously to various organizations.
He was an Eagle Point area resident for a number of years.
1999, Mr. James was honored for a lifetime of achievement by the Oregon
chapter of the Associated General Contractors of America. He was one
of three individuals to win the 1999 SIR skill, integrity, and
Mr. James was a long time member of
the Rogue Valley Country Club. He enjoyed hunting, fishing, golfing,
and restoring old cars.
Survivors include his wife, Carol,
whom he married in 1981; sons, John James of Bend and Dennis James of
Medford; daughter Sharon Wisely-Smith of Coquille; step-son, Gary Ray
of Central Point; step-daughter, Janice Quick of Wrightwood Calif.
nine grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren. He is also survived
by his sister, Jessie Johnson, of Medford. He was preceded in death by
his former wife, Betty James; parents, John K James, and Jessie Burdick
James; brother, Samuel O. James; sister, Kitsy Winningham; and
granddaughter, Tali James.
Memorial contributions can be
made to the Salvation Army, P.O. Box 757, Medford OR 97501, or Access
Inc., 3630 Aviation Way, Medford, OR 97504 or charity of choice.
A celebration of Mr. James’ life was held Sept. 27, 2007 at the Rogue Valley Country Club.
Arrangements provided by Congress~Morris Funeral Directors.