Donald Richard James, 78, passed away peacefully Friday, Oct. 29, 2021, at his home in Marble Hill. Don was born in Glen Allen, Missouri, Nov. 25, 1942.
He is survived by his devoted wife of 60 years, Joyce (Criddle) James; daughter, Kimberly; grandchildren, Cody, Cole (Addison), Casey (Carlo), Cheyenne and James; great-granddaughter, Luna; brother, Joe; and sisters, Nellie Diesel and Jessie DuBois.
Don was preceded in death by parents, Loya and Mahala Simmons James; brothers, Frank and Bennie; and sisters, Helen James and Judy Daniels.
Soon after graduating from Woodland High School in 1960, Don worked for the Missouri Conservation Commission/Forestry Division. It was here that he got to know and love the history, roads, trails, creeks and, especially, the people of Bollinger County, Missouri.
During his lifetime, he owned a real estate company and an insurance business, operated the Missouri Bureau of Motor Vehicles office, was a school board member, city manager, carpenter, contractor and home builder. He and his brother, Frank, built and operated Western Haven, a rodeo and family campground for horse lovers.
He was happiest when he could be outdoors, shoeing horses, mowing, visiting rodeos or horseback riding. He wrote many published entertaining stories relating his experiences leading or participating in trail rides. A few of his many hobbies included helping others, reading, writing, watching old cowboy movies and entertaining children with his humorous stories and magic tricks.
Don was very active in his Harmony Church community. Members always knew they could count on him to get things done, whether it be serving as deacon, volunteering for maintenance repairs, or teaching a Sunday School class. His strong faith and Christian principles never wavered. In later years Don spent many hours making a variety of wooden and horseshoe-nail crosses. He shared the crosses as his way of ministering to others. He gave away thousands to friends and strangers alike. He always included a note which stated, “This cross and nails are a reminder of what Christ has done for us” and concluded with “Always do your best and let God do the rest.”
Don — Duck, as his family called him — was always grateful for his many blessings, especially his family and friends. He will be missed by all.
Visitation will be from 4 to 7 p.m. Friday at Hutchings Chapel in Marble Hill.
A celebration of life/funeral will be at 10 a.m. Saturday at Harmony Church with the Revs. Randy Sawyer and Greg Burns officiating. Burial will be at McGee Chapel Cemetery near Glen Allen
To send flowers to Donald's family, please visit our floral store.