Kathleen Galloway James began a new life as she peacefully passed away at her home on Whidbey Island, WA on December 12, 2022. She was in her 98th year. For the last seven years, she was held in the loving hands of Janet Holland – her daughter and primary caregiver – Lee Jr, and Lee’s wife, Lindy, all of Whidbey Island. Her husband, Lee B. James, Sr. preceded her death in 2006.
Kathleen was born June 9, 1924, in Columbia Tennessee. She had a strong sense of her Southern roots. Columbia was home to President James K. Polk and the annual “Mule Days” festival. She was an extraordinary hostess and Southern cook. She showed her loving nature by seeing the good in all. She was proud of her son, Lee Jr., a long-time resident of Whidbey Island, WA, and Janet, who lived most of her music-enriched life in Huntsville, AL. Mother and daughter joined Lee Jr. (Lindy Kortus) on Whidbey Island in 2016. Also living on Whidbey are Lee’s two sons, Michael and David, and two grandchildren, Emily and Eli. A third grandchild, Brooklynn, lives in Virginia. Janet’s daughter, Vikkie (Mike Low) lives on Edisto Island, SC. Her two children are Chapin and Conner.
Kathleen and Lee were married at West Point as the new year, 1943, was rung in. During the war, these ceremonies were conducted en masse, 30 minutes apart for each betrothed cadet. The Cadets all used the same flowers. Her Tennessee-Uncle Jimmy represented the family; he was not too far away, in Washington D.C., as a member of the U.S. Congress. As an Army wife, Kathleen moved frequently, mostly within the southern part of the U.S. She set up home in several growing, dynamic communities related to the U.S space race: Fort Bliss (White Sands Proving Ground), Cape Canaveral, and the Pentagon. In addition, toward the end of her husband’s Army career, they were stationed at the “Rocket City,” Huntsville, AL for an extended time. The family remained in Huntsville throughout her husband’s second career in rocketry, which was with NASA. Upon full retirement, they traveled internationally and across the western U.S. on trips that included seeing their son in Washington state.
Cremation is under the care of Whidbey Memorial and several family remembrances are planned in Tennessee and Alabama. Memorials may be made to St. Augustine-in-the-Woods, PO Box 11, Freeland, WA 98249.
Grateful thanks for assistance are offered to the caring professionals – Jeanne, Lacey and Charlotte – of Hospice, Whidbey Island.