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Old 03-23-2009, 04:40 AM
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John Jay James, 75, Darlington, SC

DARLINGTON Funeral services for John Jay James, 75, were held at 2 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 10, 2002, at Darlington Presbyterian Church with interment following in Grove Hill Cemetery, directed by Belk Funeral Home. Mr. James died Friday, Feb. 8.

The son of Kenneth McIver James and Sue Flinn James, Mr. James was born in Darlington County. He was a real estate broker and former farmer who served as auditor for Darlington County and chairman of the Agricultural Commission of South Carolina. He graduated from St. John's High School in 1944. Knowing he would be six months shy of the legal age to enlist in the military upon graduation, Mr. James negotiated an agreement with his mother that she would sign the required permission form if he could, in fact, receive a high school diploma. In July, 1944, Mr. James joined the U.S. Marines. From May, 1945 until the end of June, Mr. James participated in the final and largest land campaign in the Pacific War the Battle of Okinawa. A member of C (Charlie) Company, 1st Battalion, 7th Marines, the 18-year-old James fought at Kunishi Ridge, which has been called the last major engagement of the war against first-line, well-armed Japanese troops. Mr. James' unit bore the brunt of the eight-day fight for Kunishi Ridge, an experience, he said would always be with him. The battle was unique in the Pacific War for its large-scale aerial evacuation of casualties during the ongoing battle, the use of Sherman tanks as armored ambulances,and for the extremely rare employment of night attacks, practically unheard of the Pacific arena. Of Mr. James' company who assaulted Kunishi Ridge, seven survived. Later, Mr. James also served in Chinwangtae, China, as part of the occupation force. Following the war, Mr. James attended the University of South Carolina, earning a B.S. degree in business administration in 1950. He was a member of the swim team, a member and officer of Sigma Alpha Epsilon, and was inducted into the national honor fraternity, Blue Key. After his marriage to Caroline Moore Orr of Atlanta, Ga., in 1950, he returned to Darlington where he owned and operated Long Marsh Farm for over 30 years becoming a respected leader in agribusiness both locally and nationally. He was appointed a member of the new S.C. Agricultural Commission in 1968 and appointed chairman in 1975. While chairman, he participated in the S.C. Trade Investments Mission to the Far East in 1976 and 1978. Mr. James also served as president and director of two national organizations: the American Yorkshire Club and the National Pork Producers Council. He held the same positions in several state organizations, including the S.C. Yorkshire Club and the S.C. Farm Bureau. Locally, Mr. James was active in many business and community groups: the Darlington County Agricultural Society, Pee Dee Production Credit Association, Darlington County Development Board, Chamber of Commerce, Darlington County Farm Bureau, Kiwanis Club, and Pee Dee Area Big Brother Association. He was a founding member of the Men's Dance Club of Darlington and also enjoyed membership in the V.F.W., the American Legion, and the U.S.C. Alumni Association. In 1983, Mr. James sold Long Marsh Farm and became a licensed real estate broker in N.C. and S.C. In 1990, he was appointed auditor of Darlington County, a position he held for two years. A life-long member of the Darlington Presbyterian Church, Mr. James served as deacon and elder of the church.

In addition to his wife, he is survived by three daughters, Caroline J. (Keith) Williamson of Hartsville, Susan S. J. (James) Mayer of Elliott City, Md., and Kyle B. James of Newman, Ga.; a sister, Sue J. Clarkson of Darlington; grandsons, Jeffrey F. Mayer, James S. Williamson, and Charles D. Williamson, and a granddaughter, Elizabeth Mayer.

In lieu of flowers, memorials are suggested to Hospice of the Carolinas, 947 South Irby Street, Florence, SC 29501, Caroline Moore Orr Scholarship Fund c/o Presbyterian College, Clinton, SC or Darlington Presbyterian Church, 311 Pearl Street, Darlington, SC 29532.
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