Mary James, 90

Realtor, taught Sunday School

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Mary Hemingway James, 90, of Forest Park, died on Jan. 15, 2019 in Oak Park. Born in New Haven, Connecticut, she met Bob James of Oak Park when he attended Yale University and she was a student at Mount Holyoke College. They moved to Oak Park and raised four surviving children: Pennie Ebsen (Deb Stracco), W. Robert "Bob" James III (Lucy Garrett), Donald H. James (Julie Webster), and Martha (Andrew C.) Wells. 

She joined the family real estate business, W.R. James Realtors, and actively participated in the Oak Park Board of Realtors. She took every opportunity to show her family and friends love and hospitality. At retirement, she focused her energies at Fair Oaks Presbyterian Church where she delighted in teaching Sunday school for many years. She treasured her Fair Oaks family and volunteered wherever she could at the church with great devotion. She also served at the Walk-in Ministry, now a part of Housing Forward. 

As her physical capabilities declined, she continued to impact her family and community by welcoming and loving all who entered her home. Her 13 grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren will miss her light, hope, and spirit of generosity.

Services to celebrate Mary's life will be on Feb. 9, 2019, at 1 p.m. at Fair Oaks Presbyterian Church, 744 Fair Oaks Ave. in Oak Park. 

Memorial gifts in her honor may be sent to Fair Oaks Presbyterian Church or Housing Forward.

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Neal Buer from Oak Park  

Posted: January 29th, 2019 10:13 PM

Mary was a wonderful person, as was Bob. I worked at WR James in the mid 70's when old WR would tell me stories of developing Oak Park in the 1920's. This is where I started my real estate career. My sincere condolences to the James family.

Elisabeth Jacobsen  

Posted: January 29th, 2019 7:21 PM

My deepest condolences to the James family. I first met Mary when I, with a brand new Real Estate license was hired by WR James Realtors, then located at 310 Madison Avenue, and later on Oak Park Ave. She was always so very kind and supportive and I have many fond memories of those days.

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