Cover photo for Wesley Edward James's Obituary
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1931 Wesley 2021

Wesley Edward James

December 30, 1931 — January 13, 2021

Waco, Texas

Wesley Edward James, 89, of Waco, passed away Wednesday, January 13, 2021.  A Graveside Service will be 12:00 noon, Saturday, January 16, 2021 at Coleman Cemetery, Coleman, Texas.  A Visitation will be 5:00-7:00pm, Friday, January 15th at Grace Gardens Funeral Home. Please observe the local and state guidelines for wearing a mask and social distancing.  The service will be available via live stream on Grace Gardens facebook page and will later be uploaded to his obituary page on their website.

Ed was born December 30, 1931, to Wesley Flint James and Ruby Orin (McClure) James in Coleman, Texas.  He was raised in the small Texas community of Valera. He graduated from Centennial High School and attended North Texas University and Baylor University.  In 1952, he volunteered for the draft and served in the United States Army for 23 months. He served in Korea while it was still declared a war zone.  Though he trained for Special Services, by the time he arrived in Korea the fighting had stopped. Instead, he served as a secretary to a young lieutenant. He enjoyed his time in the military and could tell interesting stories about his time in Korea.

He married Betty McDowell on June 14, 1959. They were married for almost 62 years. Ed was a minister at Valley Mills Church of Christ for many years. He then worked for Texas Workforce Commission retiring in 2001. After retiring, he worked for the Texas Workforce Board for 11 additional years and finally retired again in June 2012 at the age of 81.

Ed's parents were Baptist, and he was raised in a very devout and spiritual family. His mother and grandmother were a great influence in his spiritual development.  He made the decision to become a minister while in his teens and "surrendered to preach".  It was a fitting decision because he truly loved other people. He enjoyed interaction with others, never met a stranger, and always wanted the best for everyone he knew. Always demonstrating his life’s motto,

‘Others Lord, yes others,
Let this my motto be,
Help me to live for others
That I may live like thee.

While working for Texas Workforce Commission, he had an office at the Salvation Army House. From there he worked with early release prisoners and also worked with the day labor workers. He had a great compassion for these individuals and personally helped many with money, meals, transportation, and gave them clothing to wear for job interviews. Always demonstrating his motto, ' Others Lord, yes others'.

Having been raised on a farm, Ed had a deep appreciation for God's world. In his prayers, he always thanked God for 'the beauty of your handiwork'. He was happiest walking in the fields and observing all nature.

Ed loved his time at Baylor and that love endured the rest of his life. He and Betty had season tickets for Baylor football for 52 years, as well as season tickets for both the men and women's basketball teams.  They were blessed to be able to travel many places, alone or with friends, to see their beloved Baylor Bears play. They traveled all over Texas and to a number of different states.

Ed was a long-time member of Crestview Church of Christ. Through the years, he served on several committees, assisted with Sunday morning Bible class and was a group leader of Sunday night Bible study groups.

He became a victim of Lewy Body Dementia and Parkinson's disease. These insidious diseases robbed him of his ability to interact with family and other people.  They also robbed him of his ability to enjoy God's handiwork. Most importantly, they robbed him of his ability to practice his lifelong motto, 'Others Lord, yes others'.

He is survived by his wife Betty, two sisters Bobbye Ham of Cedar Park and Tommie Nixon of Abilene. He is also survived by numerous nieces and nephews to the fourth generation.  Though he had no children of his own, he loved children, and they were drawn to him.   He was sometimes called "the child whisperer".

Whether he was called Ed, Mr. Ed, Uncle Ed, Brother Ed or Mr. James, he will be greatly missed by all who knew and loved him. His family wishes to thank the wonderful staff at The Delaney Memory Care Unit.  These individual caregivers loved and cared for Mr. Ed as though he were a member of their own family. The family also wishes to thank the Interim Hospice nurse and individual care giver.  The warm, compassionate care given to Ed by The Delaney and Interim Hospice caregivers were a blessing not only to Ed but to his loving family. These caregivers exhibited the characteristics of Mr. Ed’s own motto:

‘Others Lord, yes others,
Let this my motto be,
Help me to live for others
That I may live like thee.’

Service Schedule

Past Services


Friday, January 15, 2021

5:00 - 7:00 pm (Central time)

Grace Gardens Funeral Home Chapel

8220 Woodway Drive, Woodway, TX 76712

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Graveside Service

Saturday, January 16, 2021

Starts at 12:00 pm (Central time)

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