He was born in San Francisco and served at the end of WWII. Afterward, he attended the University of California, Berkeley. Following graduation he was hired by Varian Corporation, where he worked for 37 years. Settling in Palo Alto around 1950, he lived in the city for the rest of his life.
In his retirement, he took on many civic activities in Palo Alto. He volunteered at the Palo Alto Police Department for 20 years, clocking in 6,891 hours of service, according to his partner Jean Wilcox. He was a neighborhood leader in Charleston Gardens, organizing an e-mail tree and block parties. He also worked with the Emergency Preparedness group and Palo Alto Neighborhoods.
He is survived by his partner of 28 years, Jean Wilcox of Palo Alto; his brother Pete of Palm Desert, Calif.; his son Curtis (Anna) of Atascadero; two stepdaughters Kina Sullivan (John) of San Francisco; and Pam Kaiser (Ron) of Rohnert Park, Calif. — as well as grandchildren, step-grandchildren and step-great-grandchildren.
He was buried on April 2 at the San Joaquin National Cemetery with a military honor guard. Also in attendance were five off-duty Palo Alto police officers in recognition of his prolonged service to the department.
Christopher Lionel James Sr., a resident of East Palo Alto, died on March 23. He was 47.
He was born on Feb. 23, 1967, in San Francisco, Calif., to LeGatha King. The younger of two siblings, he was raised in San Francisco and South San Francisco. He attended Cleveland and Bret Harte Elementary schools and Westborough Middle School. He graduated from Lincoln High School in 1984.
Five years later he married his former spouse, Tammy Slaughter, who had a son, Kevin Jones. Together they had four children: Christopher Jr., Timothy, Jeremy and Kiara.
In 1994, he studied cosmetology in Santa Maria, Calif., with the goal of becoming a barber. Purchasing a barber's chair and supplies, he became known as the "community" barber. He also liked to cook and for more than 10 years would prepare Sunday dinners for elderly and disabled persons in his apartment complex. In his spare time, he loved to travel, work on his cars, spend time with his family and friends and doodle.
He is survived by his sons Christopher L. James Jr. and Timothy A. James of San Diego, Calif.; his son Jeremy D. James of East Palo Alto; his son Kevin Jones (Kristine) of Gilroy; and his daughter Kiara Queen Esther James of East Palo Alto. He is also survived by his grandmother Equilla James of Santa Maria; his parents Juan and LeGatha Rivero of San Francisco; his sister Vivian James of Berkeley; and a nephew, niece, two grandchildren, aunts, uncles and friends.
A memorial service was held on April 1 at the Mt. Olive Apostolic Original Holy Church of God in Menlo Park.
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