LaMae Clara James, age 96, of Park Rapids, MN passed away on Saturday January 27, 2024 at Greenwood Connections Nursing Home in Menahga, MN. She was born on December 14, 1927 in Park Rapids, MN to Melvin and Katherine (Becker) Franks. She loved growing up and living on Straight River and attended the nearby country school and Park Rapids High School. On January 21, 1946, she was married to LaVere James in Park Rapids, MN. They were married for nearly 55 years when LaVere passed away on January 11, 2001.
LaMae loved people; her greatest joy was being with family and friends. She took great care to keep in touch with them. Often when LaVere was working away from home, she packed the kids up in the car to visit relatives in southern Minnesota, Iowa, and South Dakota. She, her sister Beverly, and niece Lori Griess planned and hosted the annual Becker Family Reunion. She enjoyed cooking, gardening, crocheting, puzzles, hosting family and friends, helping others, and watching and feeding the birds in her yard. For many years she hosted “LaMae’s Landing - End of the Summer Picnic". Family and friends canoed down Straight River a mile or two and came ashore at her place to enjoy food, fun, and music.
LaMae was a charter member of Faith Baptist Church whose beginnings and services were held in the James' home. She was very active in her community, especially with Faithbridge Church where she taught Sunday School for the two- and three-year olds for 37 years and AWANA Club for 26 years. She supported missionary work around the world and helped found the yearly "Pie Auction" the proceeds of which helped the wives of the missionaries the church supported.
LaMae was a 4-H leader for over 25 years helping the youth of the Straight River Sparklers Club. She worked at the Hubbard County courthouse and for the Park Rapids Area School District taking the yearly census keeping track of all children in the area. Going door-to-door she loved meeting new families that had moved into the area.
LaMae is survived by children Dianna (Lee) Sheldon of Eagan, MN, Danny (Melissa) James of Toquerville, UT, Joan (Maynard) Dudley of Carson, WA, Ronald (Kory) James of Park Rapids, Roger (Lorie) James of Carson, WA, 18 grandchildren, 35 great-grandchildren, 1 great-great-grandchild, sister Beverly Pearson of Park Rapids as well as many nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends. She was preceded in death by her husband, LaVere James, son Jimmy James, parents Melvin and Katherine Franks, sisters Marjorie Town, Virginia Guegel, and Charlotte Anderson, infant brother Arnold Franks, and daughter-in-laws Jean James and Vickie James.
A Celebration of Life for LaMae will be held in the Spring/Summer of 2024.
Arrangements entrusted to Jones-Pearson Funeral Home of Park, Rapids, MN.