June 16, 1934 - June 28, 2017


John R. James died peacefully at home on June 28, 2017.

He was born on June 16, 1934 to Donald and Pearl (Watts) James in Paynesville, Minnesota. John grew up in St. Cloud, where he married Ione Lommel in 1954.

He was employed as a mason for much of his life, and was a long-time vocational teacher in masonry at the St. Cloud Correctional Facility. Local buildings that John helped construct include the St. John’s Abbey church, St. John’s Preparatory School, Rocori High School, Crossroads Center, and the Sacred Heart Chapel at the College of St. Benedict.

John’s world revolved around his family and circle of friends. He is survived by children LuAnn (Jerry) Lehmeier of St. Cloud, Bob (Sue) James of Chicago, IL, Karen (Michael) Fitzgerald of San Diego, CA, Dennis (Sherry) James of Palatine, IL, Jackie (Dan) Athmann of Lakeville, and Tom (Jodi) James of Medina; and 17 grandchildren, five great-grandchildren, one great-great grandchild, his brother Pat (Sue) James of Elk River, and friend and companion, Joan Haider of St. Cloud.

John was preceded in death by his parents, wife Ione, infant daughter Joan Marie James, and granddaughter Jennifer Fitzgerald.

Services will be held at Williams Dingmann Family Funeral Home in St. Cloud on Wednesday, July 5, 2017 from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. with the service at 6 p.m. Private family burial.

Memorials are preferred to the Poor Clare Monastery of Sauk Rapids and the St. Cloud Police Reserve. The family thanks St. Croix Hospice for the compassionate care John received.