Cover photo for Charles Alexander James's Obituary
Charles Alexander James Profile Photo

Charles Alexander James

March 13, 1929 — November 11, 2022

Lincoln, California

Charles Alexander James

Charles Alexander James, Jr., was born on March 13, 1929, the 9th of 10 children born to Charles Alexander James, Sr., and Lizzie Ann Dickerson James.  He was born in Spearman, Texas, and raised in Borger, Texas, until he was 14 years old. 

His family, like many others, struggled through the Great Depression, and at age 14, Charles got his first job delivering newspapers. He never forgot that he had to borrow the neighbor kid’s shoes so he could attend school. The family moved to Downey, CA and Charles ended his school years after the 10th grade.

Charles met Avis Marjama at the church they attended.  They were married on June 18, 1948. Charles and Avis had 5 children: Dean, Janet, Jayne, Karen and David.

After working for Clarence Marjama learning the sandblasting trade, he and Avis started Safe Way Sandblasting in Culver City, California. He worked hard in the sandblasting trade from 1949 until 1971 when his son, Dean, took over the company along with a partner, Steve Levy. 

Charles took an interest in drag racing. and was very innovative and successful throughout his career.  He went on to hold many world records in his 40 years of drag racing.  One day he decided that a guy could get killed doing that so he hired a driver from then on. He won many top awards throughout his drag racing years. 

Charles, along with several Marjama brothers-in-law and a sister-in-law formed the Country Gospel Westernairs and sang all over this country at Tent Revivals in their thousand-seat tent.  They performed on TV and radio in Southern California and fronted for Robert Schuller at drive in theaters before the Crystal Cathedral was built.

Charles and Avis moved to Paradise, California, in 1971 where he worked as a developer and builder.  He built over 100 homes there plus a 27-unit apartment complex. He built James Square in Paradise which is a “U” shaped shopping center that still stands after the big fire there 4 years ago. 

Charles learned how to fly and earned his private pilot certificate in 1977, and quickly advanced to receiving his commercial license and multi-engine instrument rating.  He owned a Piper Aerostar Super II which is the fastest piston engine plane available.  He loved to fly and fly fast and did it very well! He was an avid pilot until the age of 84.

Avis died unexpectedly after 50 years of marriage.  A year later Charles attended a funeral in Colorado for a young man who formerly lived in Paradise.  He was friends of the deceased man’s family.  It was there that he met and fell in love with Kay Dahl.  Three months and a week later they were married and Heaven on Earth became a new way of life for him when he took Kay to the Earthly Paradise. Kay’s 3 daughters, Jayne, Karen and Elizabeth fell in love with him, too. To know him is to love him.

Charles also loved to golf and excelled in putting.  He, his sons Dean and David, and his grandson Jamee Gardner won a local Father/Son tournament in Lincoln Hills in 2006 which took them to Orlando, Florida, to compete in the International tournament.  They were paired up with Johnny Miller and his son. They won 2nd place in that tournament … a proud moment for sure!

Charles always loved to keep in touch with his family and wanted to know how they were doing. He loved to be a part of their lives and to spend time with them at holidays, birthdays, and throughout the year. He was a proud dad of 5, grandfather of 14 and great-grandfather of 31. He was especially proud of the fact that each one of them are serving the Lord in one capacity or another and several are ordained pastors.

Charles and Kay were fortunate to do some traveling in and outside of the United States. They moved to Lincoln, California, in 2005. They spent many weeks during the summers at his home in Minnesota until 2018 when his health began to fail. Charles was predeceased in death by his parents, his wife Avis and all 9 of his siblings.

Charles was a unique man and died at a unique time: the 11th month, the 11th day, the 11th hour, and very likely the 11th minute of 2022.  May this very kind, loving and generous man rest in peace.

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Our favorite local flower shop is ready to handle your order: Rocklin Florist,, 916-624-1651. Flowers may be delivered to Heritage Oaks Memorial Chapel on Saturday, 11/19, between 10:00 and 2:00; or on Sunday afternoon at the Destiny Christian Church Pavillion after 2:30 pm.

To order memorial trees in memory of Charles Alexander James, please visit our tree store.

Past Services

Celebration of Life

Sunday, November 20, 2022

4:00 - 5:30 pm (Pacific time)

Destiny Christian Church

6900 Destiny Dr, Rocklin, CA 95677

Reception Following in the Atrium at Destiny Church

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Graveside Service

Monday, November 21, 2022

11:00am - 12:00 pm (Pacific time)

Luncheon Following at Vista Village in Paradise

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