December 12, 2012

JoAnne Thompson James

Staff Writer


“I believe that I shall look upon the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living.”

Psalm 27:13

JoAnne Thompson James, London, Ky., who was dearly loved by her family and friends, died Monday, Dec. 10, 2012. She was 73.

She was born in Lamasco, Ky., and was preceded in death by her mother, Margaret Jordan Thompson, and her father, Herman “Tommy” Thompson; a sister, Jeanette Thompson Pope, and brother, Jerry (Ruth) Thompson.

Mrs. James is survived by her devoted husband of 54 years, Kenneth Ray James; her sons, Kenneth Ray (Nicole) James II, Brett Alan (Sarah) James; and her daughter, Holly Lynn James.  She was blessed with six grandchildren, Jordan McKinley James, Elizabeth Rachel James, Hannah Margaret James, Grace Catherine James, Julia Marie James and Claire Anne James, who called her “Grandy.”

Her children and grandchildren will always remember her beautiful gardens, handmade quilts which are a work of art, her quick wit and constant devotion.  She will live on through them.

Mrs. James graduated from Eastern Kentucky University in 1975 with a bachelor’s degree in elementary education.  She was an active member at First Baptist Church, London, Ky., and served on the board of directors for Cleft Rock Retreat Center (1976-2010).  Her passion for excellence in education led her to serve as a founding member and the first chairwoman of “Forward in the Fifth” (1986-1991), a citizens support organization created to foster improvement in eastern Kentucky schools.  She served on the KY Council of Higher Education in Frankfort, Ky. (1992-1998). Mrs. James was a Trustee Fellow of Georgetown College, having served on the Trustee Board from 2000-2004 and also on the Marshall Center Board from 1994-1998.  She was a members of the KET Foundation Board (1993-1998) and also the KY Authority for Educational Television. She invested in her community as a board member of Saint Joseph London (2002-present). Mrs. James spent her life serving her community, church and many friends.

Memorial services will be conducted Thursday, Dec. 13 at 1 p.m. in London Funeral Home Chapel with Dr. Terry Lester officiating.

Burial will follow at A.R. Dyche Memorial Park.

Visitation will be held today, Wednesday, Dec. 12, at 6 p.m. at the funeral home and from 10 a.m. until the funeral hour on Thursday.

“Thus up from the garden to the Gardener...To the life giving Life and the Beauty that makes beautiful. She is in God’s hands.”

- C.S. Lewis