James was born January 31, 1917 in Fostoria, Ohio, where he was raised and educated, graduating from St. Wendelin High School. He joined the Army at a young age and served as an Airplane Operations Specialist. His civilian employment began with a position at the Fostoria Daily Times, but he used his military training to achieve his true goal. James secured a position with the Federal Aviation Commission and eventually retired as an Air Traffic Controller Specialist.
He was married to Evelyn Banks. She passed away in 1964. He never remarried, but found deep joy in his dear friend, Phyllis Barrett.
James was a lifetime member of the Elks. He loved golfing, bowling, dancing and frequenting the piano bar at Eddie’s Supper Club.
Survivors include close friend, Phyllis Barrett. He is preceded in death by wife, Evelyn Smith; and a brother.