Obituary-Leo James

Leo Keith James, 89, died on January 12, 2024, in Clay Center. He was born May 13, 1934, in Blaine Township, Clay County, the ninth of eleven children born to Dean and Eva James. He graduated from Clay Center High School in 1953 and entered the United States Army not long after graduation.  He met the love of his life, Audrey Tenopir, at a roller rink in 1954. The couple married on July 30, 1955, and the marriage ended with Audrey’s death in 2018, after 62 years.  They lived the first 6 years of their marriage in Oklahoma. In 1962, they moved to Tucson, Arizona, and after two years there, they moved to Kingman, Arizona. In 1979, they moved to Lake Havasu City, Arizona, where they resided until 2003, when they returned to Leo’s hometown.  During his professional life, Leo worked in a copper mine for Duval Corporation for a number of years, then he and Audrey owned and operated a Dairy Queen, and finally, he served as a property manager.  He was a lifelong Baptist and a member of Calvary Baptist Church, Clay Center. Over the years, he taught Sunday School, served as a deacon, and served his Lord in many other capacities.  He had a deep and abiding love for cars, motorcycles, and his family.  He and Audrey were the parents of two children, Richard James and Debora Callahan.   Leo was predeceased by his parents, Dean and Eva James; four brothers, Russell, Ralph, Milo, and Wayne, two sisters, Bertha Dodds and Genevieve Lindberg, and a granddaughter, Rebekah James. He is survived by one brother, Arlo James of Fairfield Bay, Arkansas; three sisters, Velda Wiechman of Austin, Texas, Alta Olson of Morganville, Kansas, and Vesta Lee Lyne of Houston, Texas; his son and wife, Rick and Natalie James of Clay Center; his daughter, Debbie and husband Patrick Callahan, of Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio; ten grandchildren, and six great-grandchildren.  

Funeral Services: 1:00 PM Tuesday, January 16, 2024, at the First Baptist Church in Clay Center, KS 

Minister: Rev. Jon Henderson

Burial: Greenwood Cemetery, Clay Center, Kansas

Visitation: 5-7 PM Monday, January 15, 2024, at Neill-Schwensen-Rook Funeral Home

Memorials:  Shriner’s Children’s Hospital c/o the funeral home

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