Michael Reuel James

Michael Reuel James

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Michael Reuel James passed from this life on November 12, 2020, after a brief non-COVID related illness. He was proceeded in death by his dear mother, Mary Alice Freeman James and cherished father, Henry Herbert James. Michael R. James was the eldest sibling and is survived by his gallant brothers and adoring sisters and their loving spouses: Alice Reece and husband Gayle Reece of Fairbanks, Alaska; John James and wife Arvilla James of Lubbock, Texas; Arlita Ellis and husband John Ellis of Nashville, Tennessee; and Joel James and wife Andrea James of Houston, Texas. He is survived by his beloved wife, Janice Stevenson, of Yonkers, NY. His legacy continues and is fondly embraced by his nieces and nephews as well as their children; Matt and Kristen Reece, Holly and Doug Montini, Jason and Amber James, Whitney and Josh Cambron, Heather and Randy Morris, Robyn and Darren Foster, Sarah and Jake Michaels, Lincoln and Holly James, and Lauren G. James.

Michael had a varied and interesting life. Early in life he was tutored in biology and geology by his father and continued this passion for the sciences throughout his life. He would stroll through botanical gardens or in nature often identifying and referring to the plants and trees by their scientific names. Michael left home at an early age to work with his cousin on a fishing boat off the coast of northern California. Shortly after that he joined Army Intelligence and served in Vietnam. He was a recipient of the Bronze Star Medal and other commendation medals throughout his four years of honorable service. Michael’s living testament for his passion of the sea was revisited later in his life while living aboard his boat Podebesis, along the northern Massachusetts shoreline. During the 1990’s and up to 2006 he earned and maintained a 100-ton U.S. Coast Guard Captains License with sail and towing endorsements. Michael’s conviction for education and learning continued throughout his life. He believed that what he imparted to children could enrich the future of humanity. He earned his BS degree in Early Childhood Education and Development followed by an MA degree in Education Psychology/Counseling at Texas Tech University in Lubbock, TX. It was there that he met Janice, his future wife.

Michael’s professional career for the final 20 years was as a Counselor with the New York City Department of Education, but prior to this he was employed, licensed, and recognized as a Master Welder, Rigger, Probation Officer, Mediator for the Civil Courts in Texas, Artist and Counselor in Massachusetts.

As a professional he was outstanding, but it is rightly understood by his friends and close associates that Michael was a man of vast passions who exercised his love for others by sharing his learning and empowering people to have confidence in themselves. His joy was instilling individual courage and upholding the dignity of others.

Lastly, Michael was a good man who stood resilient to social pressure and was compassionate to the smallest needs of others. He was a good brother, nurturing uncle, earnest friend, solid leader, dear ally, and loving husband.

He once said, “You can’t help another person unless you can sit across from them, see them deeply and say to yourself, ‘I have perfect, positive regard for you.’” Michael hated no man.

He will be dearly missed.

In lieu of flowers his family requests donations to be sent to Casita Maria at

Because of the present restrictions imposed on social gatherings, the family will offer a memorial service to be held at a more appropriate time in the not too distant future.
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