The Last of the Ames Boys. James Ames, born September 15, 1921, to Grover Cleveland Ames and Betty Alice Sanford Ames, passed on April 17, 2014. He was raised in Sandstone, West Virginia, and attended Sandstone High School. He, along with several of his brothers, was very active in basketball and football. He had a basketball scholarship, but chose military service instead.
He was retired career military; he enlisted in the Army in October of 1941, and ended up building air strips in Alaska during World War II. He later transitioned in the Army Air Corps which became the United States Air Force. He served 27 years in the Air Force as a carpenter in France, a B-52 Aircraft mechanic in Columbus, Mississippi, and a crew chief at Andrews AFB qualified to work on jet engines. He flew all over the world on TDYs to Japan (he brought home pearls), to Hawaii (he brought home pineapple), and to Spain (he brought home silver). He was always thoughtful and giving with his family. He was also a Master Carpenter with Local 132 in the Washington, D.C., area, working on buildings at the University of Maryland, NASA, and the subway (the underground work he did not like).
He loved his family, friends, his dogs and cats, hunting and fishing with his son and brothers, working in his garden, and telling stories about his experiences during World War II in Alaska and his early years in West Virginia with his brothers and their fights. He always went out of his way to stay connected with family. He was the one who visited his brothers long before they came to visit us, not just his West Virginia family but mom’s Canada family as well. After Mom passed, he went to help Clarisse and Minnie at Green Sulphur Springs. He built a handrail for their front steps and planed down 20 layers of paint on the bathroom door so it would close. He was a great father and grandfather, a loyal friend, a patriot and our hero. He will be greatly missed.
He was predeceased by his wife, Julia, his daughter, Vicki Lynn Harris, sister, Susie Ames Lively, and brothers, Clarence, Hugert, George, Lloyd and Ernest.
He is survived by his daughter, Gloria Ames Walker, his son, James Gary Ames, his sister, Violet Porter, grandchildren Danielle Johnson, Brandy Jallette, Crystal Harris, Nicole and Garrett Ames; great-grandchildren, Trucker and Trace Johnson, Julia Ames, Sapphire Jallette, Cody Maher, James Nastasa, Brandon Harris, and Angelica Sanchez; as well as tons of nieces and nephews in West Virginia and Canada.
There will be a celebration honoring the life of James Ames at Blue Stone State Park, cabin 6, on the afternoon of June 28th, 2014, for family and friends. We would especially like to invite the Sanford side of the family around the Rainelle area, those related to Betty Alice Sanford Ames, Hershel, Ruth, and T-Berry Sanford. We would love to get to know our other cousins.
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