James was born in Jacksonville, Florida, on May 16, 1977. He lived in Beaumont, Houston, Mobile, Ooltewah, and finally Pipe Creek. He was a loving husband, father, son, Papa, brother, and friend. He would bend over backwards for anyone. He always had a joke or smart comment to make you smile exactly when you needed it.
He graduated from Ooltewah High School in 1995. He was active in the ROTC, football, band, and BETA club. He was smart, doing math quicker in his head than you could type in a calculator.
James married his wife, Brandy, on August 10, 1997. They were married over 23 years and never stopped loving each other. They had three beautiful children, Elizabeth, Patrick, and Colton, plus two granddaughters, Charlotte and Katherine.
James graduated with a B.S. in finance with an investment track focus and a Certificate in Negotiation from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga in 2007. He became a chartered alternative investment analyst in November 2010 and earned a Certificate in Investment Performance Measurement in January 2010.
James worked for ACA Compliance in Chattanooga, Tennessee, from 2007 to 2017. He went to work for USAA Real Co in San Antonio, Texas, in 2017, where he was a director of performance measurement.
James loved to scuba dive and was excited at any opportunity to breathe “canned air.” He did not care where the location was; if it involved a dive, he was in. Locations would include warm water, pretty fish, all the way to a freezing muck dive.
James’s love for the Pipe Creek Volunteer Fire Department was known and understood; if tones dropped, he was on his way. Even en route to a dinner with his wife, he’d look over with that grin and say, “Sorry.” If the family was doing yard work and tones dropped, you could see him speeding down the driveway with his radio out the truck window, which was code for tones dropped.
James was a rare and valuable commodity at the Pipe Creek firehouse. His infectious laugh and jolly demeanor were always needed and welcomed. Whether it was during outings or after a tough call, he made every situation easier. He loved every aspect of the fire department—the brotherhood, the fire house, the trucks, the swift water training, and the rescue dive team.
James was loved by so many. His personality was inviting, and his smile was contagious. He truly had a heart of gold. His family and friends will forever remember James as the kind, loving, giving, and funny man he was. He will forever be missed.
James was one of the most loyal people I have ever met. He was also one of the best friends I have ever had. James and I went to high school together. The first time I ever met him was in JROTC. He welcomed me with open arms a I was the new kid at school. We became lifelong friends and had many great times together. You will always be missed and never forgotten. Until we meet again my friend.– Eric Wilson
James was a great person. He was my nephew. Funny faces at all occasion’s. Missed by many and loved by many.– LaWanna Latham
I never knew James but I am acquainted with his wife and have great respect for him and his contributions for humanity during his lifetime. Blessings upon his family and all firefighters. I appreciate their commitment to society.– Hazel A. Allen
James was my nephew who is missed by many. He would always make you smile.– Felicia Cooke