William Ray James, 76, died at home Nov. 10, 2020, surrounded by his wife, Barbara, seven children, their families, and some of his nieces and nephews.
He was born Feb. 2, 1944, to Floyd and Jesse James in Lamar.
The family moved and lived in Buena Vista throughout his childhood.
At the age of 17, Mr. James began working as a miner at Climax Molybdenum Mine north of Leadville.
He met and later married Barbara Laub June 1, 1963.
The couple lived and raised their seven children on a miner’s pay.
They lived in Buena Vista until the mine closed and they moved to Elko, Nevada in 1987.
After moving to Elko, Mr. James worked at Barrick Goldstrike as a heavy equipment operator on A-Crew until he retired in May 2020 at the age of 76 after 59 years in mining.
A highlight of working at Barrick was Bill’s opportunity to work as a mentor miner in Tanzania.
As an active member of St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Elko, he served as a Eucharistic minister and was a fourth degree member of the Knights of Columbus.
The Jameses also traveled on a pilgrimage to the Holy Land with other parishioners in 2015.
Mr. James loved to travel and see the country with his family.
When the kids were young, he bolted a piece of plywood across the pickup bed, under a camper shell, as a bed for the kids.
They traveled to Cheyenne Frontier Days, Mount Rushmore, Oklahoma, Montana, Oregon, and Washington to name a few memorable trips.
Later in life, a converted school bus replaced the shell, taking everyone over Independence Pass.
Eventually he upgraded to a fifth-wheel trailer and later an RV.
Many of the grandchildren traveled with him to deep-sea fish in Oregon, following the Columbia River Gorge, and sight seeing in Yellowstone National Park, among other places.
Friends and family said he will be sorely missed, but never forgotten as the kind-hearted, loving, and witty person he was.
Mr. James was preceded in death by his parents; his son Jesse Frank James; his sister Patty Jo James; and his brother Larry James.
Survivors include his wife; daughters Pamela (Wayne) Junge, Lorna (Erasmo) James-Cervantes, Brenda James, and Patrice James; sons Jason James, William (Shawna) James, and Raymond (Stephanie) James; 17 grandchildren; 15 great-grandchildren; sisters Lorene James, Patty (Joe) Whittaker, and Loral (Mark) Plute; brother Steve (Connie) James; and numerous nieces, nephews and cousins.
Arrangements were with Burns Funeral Home of Elko, Nevada.
Online condolences may be offered at burnsfuneralhomenv.com.