Basil “BJ” J.D. James, age 96, passed away peacefully in his sleep on Monday, May 16, 2022. BJ was born December 21, 1925, in Wingate, Texas to Webber and Ica (Hallman) James. During WWII, at the age of 18, he enlisted in the U.S. Army and was deployed to Germany as a Heavy Machine Gunner. While on a patrol mission, his jeep hit a land mine and exploded, earning him a Purple Heart. He was also awarded an Army of Occupation Medal, WWII Victory Medal, Good Conduct Medal, and a European African Middle Eastern Campaign Medal. He was Honorably Discharged from the Army on June 17, 1946, and moved to Oakdale, CA. There he met the love of his life, Ann Martin. Later that year, on December 11, 1946, at the ages of 18 and 20, they were married. Their marriage lasted 72 years, until Ann passed away in 2018. BJ worked as a shop foreman for Oakdale Irrigation District for 37 years until his retirement.
BJ is survived by his daughters Peggy James and Evelyn (Robert) Jackson, grandchildren John Souza, Joey (Angelica Salazar) Souza, Jenna (Matt) Dickens, Melinda (John) Baker, and Michelle (Chance White) Warner, 14 great-grandchildren, three sisters, one brother, and numerous nieces, nephews, and cousins. He was preceded in death by his wife Ann, his parents, and sisters Eva Wright and Virdy James. He will be greatly missed by us all. Services will be held on Wednesday, June 1, 2022, with viewing at 10 a.m. and graveside services following at 11 a.m., Lakewood Memorial Park, Hughson, CA.
The Oakdale (Calif.) Leader
The Riverbank (Calif.) News
May 25, 2022