Leslie O. James
He was born in Stockton, NY, the son of Harold A. and Mary Kelly James.
James was a graduate of Falconer High School. He was well known in the sports arena of Western New York, where he played basketball, football, and participated in track. He was chosen an All-American Player by the National Semi-Professional Baseball Congress, and was signed by the Brooklyn Dodgers. He coached high school football, midget football, American Legion baseball, Little League baseball, and Babe Ruth baseball. He was a professional umpire.
In earlier years, he worked at Jamestown Malleable Iron as a metallurgist. In 1968, he moved to Clearwater, where he worked for the City of Clearwater Department of Recreation retiring in 1990. He coached Little League baseball while in Clearwater. He was a member of First Baptist Church, Falconer, and had attended Calvary Baptist Church in Clearwater.
Surviving are his wife, Arlene Benson James, whom he married June 7, 1940; three daughters, Vicky Ord of Albion, NY, Marla Swanberg of Clearwater, and Valene Dalton of McCleary, WA; three grandchildren, Kerri Neilans of Ashville, Scott Swanberg of Clearwater, and Amy Ord of Albion; one great-grandson; a brother, Walter James of Clearwater; and two sisters, Luella Paige of Lakewood and Betty Mee of Falconer.
The funeral will be at 1:00 p.m. Tuesday in the Falconer Funeral Home. The Rev. David P. Foulk, retired Baptist minister, will officiate. Burial will be in Pine Hill Cemetery, Falconer.
Friends will be received from 7-9 p.m. Monday in the funeral home.
The family suggests memorials may be made to the Les James Athletic Memorial Fund, c/o Falconer Central School, East Ave., Falconer, NY 14733.
The additional financial assistance of the community is critical to the success of the Chautauqua Sports Hall of Fame. We gratefully acknowledge these individuals and organizations for their generous support.