Obituary of John "Pap" Wilds James, Jr.
John Wilds James, Jr., “Pap” to his family, died at Prisma Health hospital on Saturday, June 27, 2020. He was the son of the late John Wilds James, Sr. and Sara Kathleen Turner James. In addition to his wife, Ollie A. James, he is survived by a loving son, John Wilds James, III, daughter-in law, Valerie, grandson, John “Duncan” James all of Sumter; a sister-in-law, Ann A. Masters of Winston Salem, NC; nephews: William E.”Bill” James, III (Mary Ann) of Cottonwood Heights, UT; Harry W. James (Tina) of Bentonville, AR; Matt Wactor (Denise) of Winston Salem, NC; and Clay Wactor of Henderson, NV. He was predeceased by a younger brother, William E. “Bill” James. John was born at Tuomey Hospital on May 15, 1938. He graduated from Edmunds High in 1956 and attended Clemson A&M College majoring in Business Administration. After Clemson, he served three years in the Army being stationed for some of that time in Japan where he was a member the ASA, Army Security Agency. He was active for three years in the Army and three years in the Army reserve. Once his military duty was completed, he came back to Sumter to begin his career in clearing the right-of-ways for power lines in South Carolina and earlier in North Carolina. He is the owner of Power Line Clearing Contractors, Inc. located in Sumter, SC which he founded in 1968. He was baptized in First Presbyterian Church in Sumter just as were his son and grandson. He was very active in church serving as a deacon, teaching four and five year old Sunday School for about 15 years, helping with the children in Extended Care, serving during Hospitality Time, and helping at the Emergency Shelter a few times. He also helped at the Greenhouse, a group house for homeless youth, when it first opened. With John always being a huge Clemson fan, his father enrolled him in IPTAY at a very early age. He did not miss many home football games and attended many of the ones out of town. John played tennis and was on an USTA tennis team for many years. He was a charter member and past president of the Epicurean Dance Club and past president of IPTAY for the Tri County District when Danny Ford was the football coach. The family wishes to thank Dr. Hugh Stoddard and his staff, Dr. Charlie White, Dr. Mitch Jacocks, and Amedisys Home Health. Private graveside services with military honors will be held in the Sumter Cemetery on Oakland Avenue with the Rev. Nick Cheek officiating. Memorials may be made to First Presbyterian Church, 9 W. Calhoun Street, Sumter, SC 29150. On-line condolences may be made to www.sumterfunerals.com Elmore Hill McCreight Funeral and Crematory, 221 Broad Street, Sumter, is in charge of the arrangements.