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Walter James Sr.

June 17, 2020


Father Walter L. James Sr. was 85, and departed this life on Wednesday June 17, 2020 at his home in Marion County. He was the husband of Betty James, the father of Marla James, Walter James Jr. and Andrea Favor.

Funeral services are scheduled to be held at the Henry L. Jackson Memorial Park on Wednesday June 24, 2020 at 1:00 pm. He will be laid to rest at the Devotion Gardens Cemetery, Mullins. Services will be live stream on the Jackson & McGill Facebook Page. The family will provide a guest list.


“For the scripture saith, Thou shalt not muzzle the ox that treadeth out the corn and the labourer is worthy of his reward” (I Timothy, 9:18)
“Judicis est, semper in causis verum sequi”
Translation: “If we judge” (which we do not have the power to do – at least) “we should in every cause seek for truth in every cause.” (Cicero, The Great Roman Orator) 

I was born on August 9, 1934 in “Murray Quarters” in Marion, South Carolina. The son of William “Slim” James and Wilhelmina “Sister” Simmons-James, and from that day until I walked off the earthly level, where “I tried to be a friend to man.” I departed my mortal journey through the labyrinth of life on June 17, 2020 at my home in Marion, South Carolina. I described myself to my masonic family as a “watermelon, cornbread, pork eating country boy.” I spent most of my life growing into maturity in Bedford Stuyvesant, Brooklyn, New York, a city that was a proving ground and home base to many of my friends, that were so much a apart of my extended family. I was a member of Bethel United Methodist Church were I served as Chairman of the Board until my health began to fail. 

I was an adventurer, a strong provider for my family, a funny comedic person to those that “knew” me, a constant seeker of knowledge and I hope that my life reflected those things. 

I began my education in Marion, South Carolina, having graduated from the Old Marion County Training School, an oxmoronic title that I fought to reconcile in my intellect all of my life. I attended South Carolina State College, Morris College, Francis Marion University on my journey to formalizing my education. I graduated from New York City Community College, earning an Associate of Art (AA) Degree, The City College of New York earning a Bachelor of Arts (BS) Degree, Masters of Science (MS) Degree as well as the University of California earning a Doctorate of Education (ED.D) Degree, where my doctoral thesis was entitled -The Rise of Unitary Education in Marion County South Carolina 1954-1970. A parallel study of the rise of the so-called racially integrated education in the Southern United States. 

I joined the United States Marine Corps during the Korean War, and received a Honorary Discharge. I am a member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Incorporated, initiated as an undergraduate into the Omicron Chapter at Columbia University, New York City. My current membership is with the Florence Alumni Chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Incorporated. I am a Freemason, with membership in Mount Moriah Lodge #18 PH, where I served as the Past Master, Mount Moriah Chapter #11, Order of the Eastern Star, where I served as a Patron. I was involved in the Marvin D. Gurley Council # 176 Knights of Pythagoras. I held memberships in the Ollie Roberts # 59 Chapter Holy Royal Arch, WH Bethea Council # 10 Royal and Select Masters and the Martin Luther King Commandery #14 Knights Templar Masons. I was a member of McDonald Consistory #226, where I received my 33rd Degree, a science that I shared and taught with the dedicated goal of sharing its true purpose without regard for race or “jurisdiction” as personifiled in the “pure” philosophical readings of William Preston, Karl Krause, George Oliver, Albert Pike and Mystic Walter Leslie Wilmhurst. I served as the Illustrious Potentate of Bejilah Temple No. 163, Prince Hall Shriners in 2018, which distinguished me as the “oldest sitting” Potentate in the world for the Ancient Egyptian Arabic Order Noble Mystic Shrine. I was 83 years old at this time. I was employed by the Board of Education City of New York, where I held many positions before retiring as a teacher, as well as an administrator. I was most proud of serving as the Dean of Students at Stephen Decatur Junior High School No. 35 in Brooklyn, New York. 

While my journey and life story is ending, my love for my family both extended and immediate, will never end, headed by my childhood sweetheart and wife of 62 years, Betty Ann Johnson- James, my children; who never asked or requested a “need” or “want” that was always given without question; Marla James Reaves, Walter L. (Linda Faye) James Jr., and Andrea James (Eric) Favor. My Grandchildren; Michael Rowell, Carletta Bell, Shannon Frankin, Deshoan Reaves, Gabrielle Kennedy, Bria James and EJ (Eric Jr.) Favor. My special nieces; Lisa D. Seabrook, Sabrina Swinney, Tanisha James, Tamika Hunter and Joyce Gilchrist as well as 7 Great-Grandchildren, 2 Great Great Grandchildren, and a host of loving sister-in-laws, nieces, nephews, cousins and friends whom I loved dearly and never compromised my love for all of you regardless of the times, good or bad or political correctness. I’ve enjoyed this long bless journey and always remember me in your heart that I loved each of you. The End 

I could say, as I have often before in words, have read, “don’t grieve or cry for me” But that would not be in keeping with the reality that I see. But Grieve only, or even cry, if you must However knowing that it is not in grief, or tears, but in God you must trust.

Be admonished, in the various manners that I shared with You On this pilgrims journey, academic theories, as I pass through
Simply accept/ accept not the dialogical, and embrace/embrace not the didactic For the soul of proclaimed justice, enclosed the irony of human static.

Preception is a love child, often conceived in beds, of sensual sounding untruth Justified with a tenacity, as did Boaz,
for the hands of the Moabite Ruth. But know that beliefs, not grounded in empitical based evidence Is like following a lost soul,
that has no chance of recompense 

Remember me and stay strong Somethings I did right Other things I did wrong 

“ME” Written May 2, 2005 



The family of Father Walter L. James Sr., in consideration of the current health crisis facing our world, nation, state and local community, has decided to hold a private 50 people or less, family only, funeral service for their loved one with private interment immediately following. While the James family would love to be surrounded by your presence, they acknowledge the health risks to family, church members, friends, and particularly to those who are most vulnerable to this disease, the elderly and those with chronic  health conditions. What the family needs most at this time are your prayers and understanding. Thank you for your concern and cooperation.

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Walter James Sr., please visit our floral store.


Funeral Service
June 24, 2020

1:00 PM
H. L. Jackson Memorial Park
612 S. Main St
Marion, SC 29571

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