Kenneth Edward "Ken" James, Jr.
Sallisaw - Ken James, 77, of Sallisaw, Oklahoma and formerly of Kansas City, Kansas passed on Tuesday, March 23, 2021. Kenneth was born on September 25, 1943 in Ardmore, Oklahoma. He was the son of Kenneth Edward and Margaret (Bettes) James, Sr. Ken started working at the family funeral home, Bettes Funeral home in Ardmore owned by his grandfather, at a young age.
Ken graduated from Ardmore High School in 1961. He married his high school sweetheart Judith Ann Atkinson in 1963 with whom he had two sons, Kenny and Matt. They were married for 33 years before her death in August 1997. Ken was a Scout Master and often went on Boy Scout trips with Troop 50.
In November of 1998 he married Mary Hope Haug. Ken converted to the Catholic Faith in 1999. They lived a full life and enjoyed traveling to historic places. Ken was a huge Civil War history buff. In 2013 Hope, Ken, Kenny and Tammy embarked on a Civil War tour that included Ft Sumter, Bull Run, and the Hunley War Submarine. Ken loved to collect coins and would always look at lose change to see what could be added to his collection. Ken and Hope enjoyed going and cheering on the Boys in Blue, the Kansas City Royals.
In 1963 he graduated from the Dallas Institute of Mortuary Science of Funeral Directors He also learned how to remove eyes for the Oklahoma Eye Bank and became a certified eye enucleator. His proudest career accomplishment was when he was hired by Robert L Waltrip, founder of SCI and going to work at Hampton Funeral Home in Wichita Falls, Texas. Ken worked at various funeral homes in Oklahoma, Texas and retiring from Mount Moriah funeral home in Kansas City, Missouri.
Ken was civic minded and was a member of the Lions Club, Knights of Columbus, Masonic Temple and was LT. Governor of the Kiwanis Club.
Ken is survived by his wife of 22 years Mary Hope James, Sallisaw, OK two sons Kenneth and Tammy James, Sallisaw, Matthew and Lori James, Tulsa, OK. One Brother Albert and Christy James, Apple Valley, CA. Grandchildren Bridgit Olive, Woodward, OK, Hayli Sherman, Ardmore, OK, Ryan Tullous, Bixby, OK, Kody James and Brittany James both of Duncan, OK and Taylor James, St. Louis, MO. Eleven great-grandchildren. One niece Tammy James-Dean, Irvine, CA and one nephew Beau James, Foothill Ranch, CA.
Mass of Christian Burial was held at St. Therese Catholic Church, Kansas City, Missouri on Monday, March 29, 2021.
Graveside services will be held on Saturday May 8, 2021 at Rosehill Cemetery in Ardmore. Graveside located at 16th and H.
Memorials can be made to St. Francis Xavier Church, Sallisaw, Oklahoma or Benedictine Sisters, Atchison, Kansas.
Posted online on May 07, 2021