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Obituary – Lee E. James

Lee E. James was born on August 3, 1937, in Montauk, Mo., outside of Salem, and he passed away November 2, 2020, at University Hospital in Columbia, Mo. He lived in Raymondville, Mo. from November 1968, until his death.

Lee was preceded in death by his parents, Ora and Florence (Nelson) James; his brothers, Othel, Lorn, Frank and Jessie; and his sisters, Fern, Ethel Warren, Hazel Cummins and Louise White.

Lee is survived by his wife of 47 years, Betty Jo (York); brother Kenneth James and his wife Valena; son Dwain James; daughter Patti and her husband James “Jim” Holder; granddaughter Latesa Holder; step-children Gwendolyn “Gwen” (McConnell) and her husband Fred Thomas, Carl McConnell and his wife Michele, and David McConnell and his wife LaFonda; 9 step-grandchildren; 17 step-great-grandchildren; and numerous nieces, nephews, and a host of friends.

He was baptized in a creek in 1947, and has attended church in Raymondville for many years. He graduated in 1954, from Salem High School, at the age of 16. In 1959 he married Patsy (Perryman), and to this union were born his two children: Dwain Lee and Patti Diane.

He worked hard to support his family: 13 years at Caterpillar in Peoria, Ill. and 20 years at Lee Factory in Houston, Mo. Working at Lee Company is where he met his wife Betty. They were married on April 12, 1974, in Vandalia. He loved hunting, fishing, working in the garden, the St. Louis Cardinals, writing poems, and helping fix equipment for neighbors, with his specialty being weed eaters. He will be missed by his friends and family.

Memorials may be made to Allen Cemetery. Online condolences may be sent to

Graveside Services were held Thursday, November 5, 2020, at 2 p.m. at Allen Cemetery with Jim Root, and Jackie Cooper officiating. Services were under the direction of Evans Funeral Home. Pallbearers were Allan Branstetter, Carl McConnell, Dave McConnell, and Jim Holder.

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