James was born in Montreal to American parents. He was the youngest of six children. He attended high school in California and college in Florida. He received a degree in business and worked as a purchasing agent for Florida Keys Memorial hospital and then the waste to energy plant on Stock Island.
James met Karen at Sloppy Joe's Bar. They married June 24, 1989.
James changed careers and became a teacher working first as a fourth grade teacher at Glynn Archer Elementary School and then as an eighth grade language arts teacher and a seventh grade social studies teacher at Horace O'Bryant Middle School.
Karen and James moved to Shanghai, China in 1997, to teach at Shanghai American School. They stayed in Shanghai for ten years even after James was no longer able to teach. They moved to Taipei in 2007 where Karen taught fifth grade at Taipei American School.
James was diagnosed with Progressive Multifocal Leukoencephalopathy (PML) a rare brain virus in January 2008. The prognosis was a few weeks to a few months to live, but James fought back. After a couple of months at home in Sudden Valley, James went to live at St. Francis Extended Care Facility where he was when he died.
James loved the game of soccer. He coached and played and watched. He and Karen were fortunate to attend World Cup games around the world.
James loved to travel and was able to see most of Asia. He participated in a Habitat for Humanity project in Sri Lanka that he described as life changing.
James touched many lives with his friendship and with his teaching. He had a wonderful sense of humor and an intelligent wit.
He will be missed.