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Family, Friends Remember Vickye James

The Rev. LeRoy Walker, pastor of Emmanuel Baptist Church, speaks during the funeral of Vickye James, community leader and former Jamestown City Council member, on Wednesday at the church.

Family and friends gathered Wednesday in a private service to pay their respects to Vickye James, a community leader and City Council member who passed away March 27.

Song, videos and memories filled Emmanuel Baptist Church as family and friends remembered James. While the service was private for family, it was streamed on Facebook by the Lind Funeral Home — with more than a thousand people viewing the service online and dozens more sharing their condolences even they could not physically be in the church Wednesday.

James was a Jamestown City Council member, Chautauqua County Legislator, initiated the Girls in the Middle and Weed and Seed Programs, was a co-organizer of The Princess Club, chairperson and organizer of the city’s annual Juneteenth Celebration, and spearheaded various projects at Taylor Park including the newly installed playground and renovation of the concession stand.

“Today we come to celebrate the life of our dear sister, mother, wife, aunt, friend to many in the city of Jamestown, celebrate the life of Vickye James, who touched all our lives in so many ways,” said the Rev. Leroy Walker of Emmanuel Baptist Church. “We can’t even begin to talk or to count how she has touched our lives throughout the years. But we thank God that he has allowed her to be here on this earth just for a little while. We thank God that he has allowed this spirit to dwell in her just for a little while and to pass on to each one of us to let us know that Jesus lives. She let us know by the life that she lived. The way that she lived and how she talked and walked. This city, this community, is going to miss her tremendously.”

She was an active member of Emmanuel Baptist Church since 2005 where she served in many capacities including Church Clerk, President of the Kitchen ministry and was a member of the Trustee Board.

“Emmanuel Baptist Church is going to miss her,” Walker said. “We love her. She was a faithful member of this church. She was a person we could depend on. You asked her to do anything it was done. There was many a time I would call her or ask her to contact somebody for me or to write a letter — that letter would be in the mail before the sun set. That call would be made before the office closed. I never had to ask her twice. I never had to ask her, ‘Did you remember to do it?’ She did it. She was very very dependable. We’re going to miss her, gracefully, here at Emmanuel Baptist Church and this city is going to miss her.”

Memorials may be made to the Vickye James Fund, c/o Lake Shore Savings Bank. A card was sent in memory of Vickye James, several Bibles will be distributed by members of the Gideon International in James’ name by Pastor Pastor Gordon and Jean Robbins of Falconer Baptist Church.

“Sister Vickye meant so much to me,” said Debbie Walker, wife of Pastor LeRoy Walker. “I loved her. I truly believe she loved me. We worked together many many years. As a pastor’s wife you would have thought I would have been the one to encourage her and help her make good decisions. But Vickye was strong and she never had to say anything to many you do something. … She was quite the leader and a brave, brave woman of God. I will truly, truly miss her.”

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