Jack K. James

Jack K. James

Jack K. James

Jack K. James was born Aug. 19, 1920, in Roundup, Mont. In 1926, the family moved to Medford where Mr. James attended Medford schools and graduated from Medford Senior High in 1937.

In 1938, he started in the construction business with Marshall Bessonette by helping in the building of the former Big Y. He then served in the army from 1940-1945 where he was stationed in Alaska and later in the Pacific. At the war's end, he was in Okinawa as a major in the Army Engineers.

Upon his return to civilian life, he again entered the construction business with Bessonette and Graff. During this time, he helped in the building of various schools in Ashland and Yreka, various office buildings and sawmills in the area and the original Rogue Valley Country Club. In 1956, Mr. James and W.A. Graff formed the partnership of Graff & James. During this partnership, he built additions to the Rogue Valley Hospital, Providence Hospital, Harry & David, cold storage for various fruit industries, Mae Richardson Elementary School, Central Point High School, and various buildings at Southern Oregon College. In 1967, Mr. Graff retired and Mr. James continued in the construction business as Jack K. James Construction and continued to build for Harry & David, Olson Lawyer Lumber, Boise Cascade, and 3-M. In 1983, he sold the business to nephews, Sam James and Bill James. They changed the name of the business to S&B James Construction. The business has again been sold, but still carries the name of S&B James.

He served for several years on the board of directors of Rogue Valley Health Foundation and the Rogue Valley Medical Center. He was also a board member of the former Star Gulch Ranch and served for a time as interim director. He was chairman of the board for Mercy Flights. He was also involved with the building of Eagle Point Stadium and gave generously to various organizations.

In 1999, Mr. James was honored for a lifetime of achievement by the Oregon chapter of the Associated General Contractors of America. He was one of three individuals to win the 1999 SIR-skill, integrity, and responsibility-award.

Mr. James was a long time member of the Rogue Valley Country Club. He enjoyed hunting, fishing, golfing, and restoring old cars.

Survivors include his wife, Carol, whom he married in 1981; sons, John James of Bend, and Dennis James of Medford; daughter, Sharon Wisely-Smith of Coquille; step-son, Gary Ray of Central Point; step-daughter, Janice Quick of Wrightwood, Calif. Grandchildren include Kathleen Kleindienst of San Antonio, Tex.; Kristine Cox of Eugene; Brett Wisely of Coos Bay; and Heather Wisely of Coquille. Also, Kara, Kos, Kris, Rachel Ray of Central Point, and Collin Quick of Wrightwood, Calif., and seven great-grandchildren. He is also survived by his sister, Jessie Johnson, of Medford; and several nieces and nephews, including Sam James of White City and Bill James of Talent. He was preceded in death by his former wife, Betty James; parents, John K. James, and Jessie Burdick James; brother, Samuel O. James; sister, Kitsy Winningham; and granddaughter, Tali James.

Memorial contributions can be made to the Salvation Army, P.O. Box 757, Medford, OR 97501, or Access Inc., 3630 Aviation Way, Medford, OR 97504 or charity of choice.

A celebration of Mr James' life will be held on Thursday, Sept. 27, 2007 at 11:00 a.m. at the Rogue Valley Country Club at 2660 Hillcrest Rd.

Arrangements provided by Conger~Morris Funeral Directors.

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