Bennie Lee James was born on December 17, 1935, in Gipsy, Mo., the son of Loya Lomas and Mahala Simmons James. He passed away on July 29, 2017, at his home near Marble Hill, Mo., at the age of 81.
When Bennie was 16, he moved with his family to Windfall, Indiana. While living in Indiana, Bennie met Judith Lowe at a riding stable. Both shared their love of horses. On October 24, 1959, he married Judith. They started their family while living in Indiana when the first of their three sons, Tony, was born.
In the early 1960’s they moved to Missouri. They made their home in Bollinger County where two more sons, Ted and David, were born. For family entertainment the family would go horseback riding together on their three horses, Sundance, Dandy and Sugar Foot. He was dedicated to his sons, hanging tire swings, building wooden stilts and a clubhouse. Bennie was known as a quiet man. He spent most of his working life at local pallet mills. He and Judy were good money managers and on a moderate income raised their three sons in a home on 40 acres on Opossum Creek Road along with their horses. For 49 years they provided three generations of memories of “the old home place.” Bennie was a strong man, handling almost everything life threw at him with a calm grace. He had a remarkable inner strength even when he lost an eye to cancer at age 74.
He is survived by sons, Michael David (Angela) James of Deridder, LA., and Timothy Edward (Ted) James of DeKalb, Ill; brothers: Don and Frank James of Marble Hill, and Joe James of Virginia; two sisters: Nellie Diesel-Lyons of New Mexico and Jessie Dubois of Iniana; five grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren.
Preceding him in death was Judy, his wife, his son, Benjamin (Tony); and two sisters: Judy Daniels and Helen James.
Visitation will be on Saturday, August 5, 2017, from 10:00 a.m. until noon. Funeral services will be held at Noon with Brad Brock officiating. Burial will follow at McGee Chapel Cemetery near Glen Allen, Mo.