Obituary-Andrew L. James

Andrew Lysle James, 52, died September 8, 2022, at home in Clay Center, Kansas. Andrew was born October 26, 1969, the youngest of two boys born to Veryl and Carole (Hedlind) James of Clay Center. The family farmed in the Ladysmith Community in Exeter Township Clay Center.

Andrew attended grade school and junior high in Wakefield, Kansas; was a member of the Clay Center United Methodist Church; and a member of the Cloverleaf 4-H Club, with his own small sheep herd. He graduated from Clay Center Community High School in 1988 and earned a bachelor’s degree in accounting at Kansas State University in 1992. Andrew served in accounting positions for ADM, PDA, John Deere and Kansas State University, and as a USDA dairy inspector.

Andrew married Margaret “Maggie” O’Brien in 1994. She died March 1, 2007. Andrew has a son, Dylan Anderson James, 14, from a previous relationship.

Andrew is best remembered by friends and family for his love of movies, and his uncanny ability to recall the names of the directors and writers of, as well as the actors in all the movies. He could also recite many movie lines word for word. Additionally, he liked to read (much like his dad) and enjoyed music. One of his most-recent favorite songs was a Mac Davis piece called “Uncle Boogar Red and Byrdie Nelle” that talks about working on the farm all week and visiting family on the weekend, a tradition he fondly recalled from his childhood.

Andrew is also remembered as a tall, big-hearted man, who loved to eat as long as he didn’t have to cook. Pizza was one of his favorites from childhood through adulthood. Despite being a homebody, Andrew often stepped outside his comfort zone to take his companion of the past five years, Erika Swearengin, to Kansas City Royals baseball games, museums and exploring other cities. He also enjoyed spending time with Erika’s three daughters, Colleen, Moira and Orlagh Regan. Andrew also liked to fish, as going to the pasture “over West” to fish was one of the extended family’s favorite gathering spots. Andrew didn’t like water and never learned to swim, which is evidently not genetic, as his son is on his school’s swim team.

Andrew was preceded in death by his father, Veryl; his former wife, Maggie; and both sets of grandparents.

He is survived by his son, Dylan of Ottawa, Kansas; his mother, Carole James of Clay Center; his brother and sister-in-law, Derek and Karra James of Clay Center; nephew and niece, Keaton and Allison James of Clay Center; his companion, Erica Swearengin and her daughters of Junction City, Kansas; and several aunts, uncles, cousins and friends.

A celebration of life will be held at 2PM Thursday, September 15, 2022, at Neill-Schwensen-Rook Funeral Home of Clay Center.

Visitation will be 5-7PM on Wednesday, September 14 at the funeral home.

Online condolences may be made at

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