William Eugene James, well known as Gene, passed away on Saturday, September 18, 2021. He was 92 years old. Gene was born in Durant, Oklahoma, to T. W. James and Carrie Anderson James on November 4, 1928.
He entered the United States Army in 1950 and spent 17 months in Korea and Japan before being discharged in 1952. He received several medals of accommodation.
He attended Oklahoma University and graduated from Southeastern College. Gene married Lawanda Estelle Troutman in 1953. They had two sons, Paul James and David James. He worked at Southeastern Packing Co. until moving his family to Shawnee in 1962 where he founded James Sausage Co. He was an active member in the community. Gene was the school board president for 12 years, a member of First Baptist Church, Masonic Lodge, Rotary and Elks clubs. He sat on the board of directors for Pottawatomie County American Red Cross, Shawnee Chamber of Commerce, Federal National Bank, and Oklahoma Baptist University. He sponsored Shawnee high school athletics and supported FFA. He also sponsored the American Legion Baseball team. In 1987, he founded United Optical Inc.
Gene was preceded in death by his father, T. W. James, his mother, Carrie James, father-in-law, Votial Troutman, mother-in-law, Bernice Troutman, brothers-in-law, Harold Troutman and Cliff Troutman, and sister-in-law, Nicki Palmer.
Those left to cherish his memory are his wife, Estelle James, sons, Paul James and David James, daughter-in-law, Tammi James, grandchildren, Hank James, Lindsey James, Sean James, and Amy Bernard and husband Thomas Bernard, great-grandchildren, Britton James of San Diego, CA, Kamryn James of Harrah, Simon James and Lucas James of Shawnee, Autumn and Colton Huff of Missouri, and Clara James and Adeline James of Shawnee, sister-in-law, Pat Mauldin, sister-in-law, Jerry Troutman, brother-in-law, Wayne Mauldin, and many loving nieces and nephews.
A funeral ceremony for Gene will be held on Friday, September 24, 2021 at 2:00 pm at the Walker Funeral Chapel. Following the ceremony, Gene will be laid to rest at Resthaven Memorial Park with military honors. Gene's family will greet friends at Walker Funeral & Cremation Service on Thursday, September 23rd from 4-6pm.