April 26, 1933 - September 25, 2016
Wilda E. (Dempsey) James, 83, passed away on Sunday, September 25, 2016 in her home, surrounded by her family. She was born April 26, 1933 in Lippincott, Ohio, the daughter of the late Cecil and Clara (Downs) Dempsey. She married the late Horace L. “Junior” James on September 25, 1957.
Wilda was a 1951 graduate of Urbana High School where she was a 4 year member of the Urbana Marching Band, was a majorette and served as head majorette her senior year. She was a member of the Urbana Senior Center and the Urbana Moose Lodge 1215. Wilda was self-employed as a beautician for 16 years and worked at Northern Floral in West Liberty for 10 years. She was an avid hunter and fisherman. Wilda always said she was a jack of all trades and master of none, to include cake baking and decorating, knitting, sewing and cooking. Christmas and Easter were always extra special because of all the homemade cookies and candies. Wilda loved watching cowboy movies, she had a great love of travel, especially for Wyoming and the Western U.S. and had been to all 50 states with her travel buddy, Elaine Pennington. She lived an extraordinary life and had so many adventures and experiences with stories that nobody would believe. Wilda never knew a stranger and never went anywhere without having a good time.
She is survived by daughters, Jamie (Todd) MacRae of West Mansfield, OH and Jana James (Richard) Heitsman of Hamilton, OH; grandchildren, Christy (Scott) Fryman, Jeff (Sarita) MacRae and Jason (Lacey) MacRae; great grandchildren, Brooklyn Rose Fryman, Grant William Fryman, Mackenize MacRae, and Lindsey MacRae; brother, Jerry Dempsey; sisters, Jo Frasure, Linda Clark and Sandy Valentine; numerous nieces and nephews and a special friend, Peggy Shannon.
Wilda is preceded in death by her parents; her husband, Horace Leffel James Jr.; and her brother, Donald Dempsey.
A memorial service will be held at 7:00 PM on Thursday, September 29, 2016 in the FRESHWATER, McDONALD & VERNON Funeral Home, North Lewisburg with Pastor Don Moceri officiating. Family will receive friends 3 hours prior to the service from 4-7:00 PM. Graveside services will be held at a later date in Oak Dale Cemetery, Urbana.
Memorial contributions may be made to Urbana Senior Center or PAWS of Champaign County.
Condolences may be made to the family at www.vernonfh.com.
I am so sorry to hear about Wilda. When I lived in Urbana she was always nice to me. May God be close to your family in this time of sorrow.
Wilda was a dear friend and cousin (by marriage) when I was married to Dr. John Shultz. I always enjoyed her so much, and will greatly miss her wonderful sense of humor. She really enjoyed life and I know she will be sadly missed by her family and friends.
Paris and I are so shocked to see tonight paper. Paris worked with Jr for years and I got to know them both when Jr was ill. I worked for Dr Pellegrini till June this year and the last time I saw her she was great! I loved her and she always had a good word for Paris who has alzheimers now. Please know how sad we are to hear of this great woman’s passing. The world has lost a great soul! Sincerely, Diana and Paris Salyers
Jamie and Jana,I am truly sorry for your loss. My deepest condolences to you both. Aunt Wilda was an amazing person! I loved listening to her stories, especially of her travels out west and the hunting trips she and Uncle Junior took! We always talked of taking a trip together. I’ll always remember her as being fun-loving, adventurous and full of life. How could I ever forget her spirit or that laugh of hers! I remember getting my haircut and eating some of the delicious confections she’d bake when we’d come to visit. She had many talents and the gift of helping others but by far her greatest achievement was that of loving, caring and nurturing Mother. Aunt Wilda was truly one of a kind! I love her dearly. She will be greatly missed. It’s time for her to rest, she is at peace.
I am very sorry.
I hope to be able to make it Thursday.
Wilda was one of a kind! She certainly was a rare gem…loved her! I work at the Senior Center and she will be missed tremendously. My thoughts and prayers are with your family.