Obituary Listings

Clifford R James
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Obituary for Clifford R James

Clifford James was born on January 5th, 1931 in Milwaukee, WI, to Clifford and Esther James. He had an older sister Gloria and a younger brother Ted.

Cliff worked hard all his life starting with a daily paper route as a young teenager. He was a terrific athlete and loved playing sports including baseball, basketball and track. He graduated from West Milwaukee High School in 1949 as President of his senior class.

After high school, Cliff was drafted into the Army during the Korean War. He was primarily stationed at Ft. Eustis in Virginia and after two years was discharged having attained the level of Master Sargent.

After the Army, Cliff became a draftsman for the Milwaukee Sewage Commission. It was here that he developed his interest in city works and local politics. He took advantage of the GI Bill and started college at the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee. While working and attending classes, Cliff decided to run as a Trustee for the Village of West Milwaukee. In true Cliff James fashion, he knocked on every house in the village to introduce himself. As result, in his 20s, he became the youngest Trustee ever elected. He also met his lovely wife Karen while both were attending a summer history class. Cliff had by then become a Mason, eventually becoming a 32nd degree Mason. He would continue his Mason membership for the next 60 years.

By the time he earned a degree in Political Science, he had decided he wanted to make his career in city administration. He went on to earn a Master’s Degree from the University of Kansas School of Public Administration. Cliff’s first job after graduation was as Assistant City Manager in University City, MO. Over the next years, Cliff and Karen married, had three children and Cliff continued his career in Independence, Clayton and Creve Coeur, MO. Cliff’s longest tenure and undoubtedly his favorite position was as City Manager of Clayton. His efforts in formalizing city works and services and developing stringent zoning laws helped move Clayton into the thriving business community it is today.

Cliff was a member of various professional organizations including the International City Managers Association and Rotary International.

Cliff retired to Hot Springs Village where he continued to live an active and productive life. He had a wide variety of interests including golf, fishing, hunting, reading and enjoying his beloved Packers and Cardinals. He was particularly handy and frequently put those skills to use helping friends and neighbors.

Cliff returned to Wisconsin throughout his life, first with his young family to his cabin on the lake, orchestrating a family house-building project, and in later years visiting family and friends and enjoying the beauty of Wisconsin with his wife Karen.

He is survived by his loving wife of 56 years, Karen (Vance) James, children Cliff James, Lisa James, and Linda Penn (Anthony), sister Gloria Ziegler, grandchildren Meghan Eling (Cory), Alexander and Ethan Penn, and Charles, Seth, and Jamie Olson, and in-laws Roger Vance (Betsy), Sharon James and Janet Myers (Gerald). Cliff was predeceased by his parents, Clifford and Esther (Rogahn) James and brother, Ted James.

Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. on Friday, September 29, 2017 at Caruth Village Funeral Home, 4623 North Highway 7, Hot Springs Village, Arkansas.

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Previous Events

Memorial Service




11:00 AM
Caruth Village Funeral Home

4623 North Highway 7
Hot Springs Village, AR 71909


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