William Lee James, 85, of Orange, Texas, passed away on April 10, 2017.

He was born in Port Arthur, Texas, on June 29, 1931. He attended Thomas Jefferson High School and went on to graduate from Texas A&M University as a 1st Lieutenant in the Army.

During his time in the Army, he was stationed at Fort Belvoir, Virginia, Labrador, Newfoundland and then Greenland.

Upon leaving the Army, he went to work for Gulf Oil Corporation and was sent to Puerto La Cruz, Venezuela and later to Atlanta, Georgia. He retired from Gulf/Chevron in 1992, and later worked for Anderson Surveying and Mapping until 2017.

During his youth, Bill entered the Boy Scouts and achieved the rank of Eagle Scout. He remained active in Scouting as both Scout Master and Cub Scout Master, in Puerto la Cruz and in Bridge City. He was a member of the Lion’s Club; had a seat on the Bridge City Planning and Zoning Commission; and for 25 years served as a member of the Bridge City School Board. He designed and oversaw the construction of the St. Henry Catholic Church Rectory, and designed and developed housing subdivisions thought the Bridge City area.

Bill was an avid duck hunter, belonged to the NRA and was a member of the Audubon Society. He was a collector of mineral specimens and semi-precious stones, and made unique jewelry and faceted gemstones. He belonged to the area Rose Society and grew over 200 hybrid roses.

Bill leaves behind his wife, Kathryn; five children, Kathryn Conlin and husband Kevin, William and wife Barbara, Cynthia James, Elizabeth Walsh, Daniel James; and grandchildren, Brian James and wife Ruth and Morgan James. He also leaves behind a sister, Norma Fischer in Switzerland with husband Peter and their children Michael and Sabrina and four grandchildren.

Visitation will be held from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m., with a Rosary at 6:00 p.m., Monday, April 17, 2017, at Claybar Funeral Home in Bridge City.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be at 2:00 p.m., Tuesday, at St. Henry Catholic Church with Father Steve Leger officiating. Burial will follow at Hillcrest Memorial Gardens in Orange.