He was born March 20, 1932. in Cape Girardeau, to J. Frank and Esther A. Siemers James. He and Marie A. Kirchdoerfer were married April 19, 1955, at St. Mary Cathedral.
James served in the U.S. Army from 1952 to 1954.
He was a member of St. Mary Cathedral, SEMO District Fair Association since age 16, member and leader of Campster 4-H Club, St. Charles American Legion Post 312, VFW Post 3838 (lifetime member), Plasters Union 340 and Labor Union Local 1104.
He worked on a dairy farm with John Fred Hartle at Jackson, then Clarence Sherrill at Cape Girardeau, and worked at Drury Co. for 34 years. He was born and died on the same family farm in Cape Girardeau County.
Survivors include his wife, Marie James of Cape Girardeau; daughters Ruth Sawyer (David) of Garland, Texas, Elizabeth Aufdenberg (Dennis) of Burfordville; sons Robert James Jr. (Donna) of Cape Girardeau, Dennis James (Karen) of Leopold, Mo., Paul James (Sherry) of Cape Girardeau; a daughter, Anita Essner (Mark) of Kelso, Mo.; a son, Ralph James (Monica) of Jackson; daughters Angela Poindexter (Doug) of St. Charles, Sara Heuer (Jeff) of Cape Girardeau; and a son, Mark James (Julie) of Jackson.
Also four brothers, John L., Franklin, Donald and Earl James, all of Cape Girardeau; 25 grandchildren; and nine great-grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by his parents; a brother, Joe David James; and two grandchildren, Elliot and Katrina James.
Visitation will be 4 to 8 p.m. today at Ford and Sons Mount Auburn Funeral Home. Parish prayers will be at 7.
Funeral Mass will be at 10 a.m. Thursday at St. Mary Cathedral, with the Rev. Tom Kiefer and the Rev. William Hennecke officiating. Burial will be in St. Mary Cemetery, with military rites by Missouri Honor Guard.
Memorial contributions may be given to St. Mary Cathedral Education Foundation.
Online condolences may be made at www.fordandsonsfuneralhome.com.