Frederick (Fred) Arthur James, a man who loves God, was born on March 18, 1945 in Durham, North Carolina and promoted to Glory on July 26, 2022. He was the second son from the union of Sidney Curtis James and Senebelle Parham (James), now deceased.
Fred accepted Christ in his adult years and his greatest desire was to please God. In his earlier years, he attended Booker T. Washington High School in Norfolk, Virginia, graduating in 1963, and later attended North Carolina Agricultural & Technical State University (North Carolina A & T) where he participated in the ROTC Program and graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Biology. He went on to enlist in the United States Army where he attained the rank of Unit Commander after attending Officer Training School in Fort Knox, Kentucky. Fred was awarded a National Defense Service Metal, completed his service, and received an Honorable Discharge from the military. Later, because of a service-connected injury, Fred was classified as a disabled veteran and received medical care from the VA Medical Centers in Richmond and Hampton, Virginia.
Fred joined Manna Christian Fellowship Church (MCF) in Richmond, Virginia after “visiting” for six years! He said he wanted to make certain the Pastor was the “real deal” and authentic. After thirteen years at MCF, Fred met Janet Dingle Brown. Janet came to MCF as a visitor in January 2005 and shortly afterward joined the Church. Eventually, from a set of circumstances that only God could have arranged, the couple started a courtship that quickly bloomed into a marriage proposal. The adult children of both Fred and Janet were surprised (shocked?) that the two older adults would be getting married at 60 and 50 years old! However, as the years progressed, no one could deny that God had blessed Fred and Janet to love each other passionately and have a solid marriage until the day of Fred’s passing.
The couple even color-coordinated outfits for church, leisure, and time with the grandchildren, including matching t-shirts! With the exception of bowties (Fred would say he felt ridiculous in a bowtie given his height and large body frame), Fred would pretty much be okay with anything Janet wanted the couple to wear after they were married. It was not until very recently that Fred broke the news to Janet that he never liked the couple dressing alike but loved her so much that he was okay with it because it made her happy. Interestingly, Fred would say that he remembered Janet asking him to get married, but Janet is certain he proposed first! The couple was married at MCF on September 24, 2006 and remained faithful members of MCF until the couple relocated to Virginia Beach, Virginia in April 2019. Fred and Janet maintained close contact with their MCF church family. God then graciously led them to visit New Life Church/Town Center Campus (and they never left).
Fred was a man of strong convictions and made no apology for being a Christian. He also, even in the midst of several serious medical conditions and surgeries, was a faithful husband and cared for his family deeply and prayed for them by name frequently (not just the adult children but also the grandchildren, greatgrandchild (including the one on the way), and ex-spouses (because Fred would say that without them, we would not have our wonderful adult children that were born in their prior marriages).
Fred also had adopted adult children, family and friends that he prayed for frequently. In addition to serving in the prayer closet as an Intercessor, Fred was a behind-the-scenes Patriarch, Watchman, and Protector for his entire extended blended family. His wife Janet witnessed this first-hand over many years and admired her husband for being a real man who loved his family and friends.
In his later years, Fred endured many serious medical issues starting around 2016 when kidney cancer was discovered. The cancer was removed but his health declined from other medical issues including pulmonary hypertension, congestive heart failure, COPD, diabetes, high blood pressure, neuropathy and other issues including hearing loss ( a source of great frustration at times). As Fred’s medical issues intensified, he could no longer go on fishing trips (Fred loved to fish, alone or with the MCF men). Fred would give the fish he caught away because he said he married a “city girl” and that he bought his eating fish from the store. It was no secret that his wife Janet could not cook well (and this is putting it politely!).
Fred tried to get Janet to enjoy fishing too, but she’d tell him, that she didn’t like “watching the fish struggle for their lives” so Fred was content going alone or with his MCF buddies until his health prevented him from going (which was a great sadness for Fred). After many close calls, including COVID, Fred would say that he was convinced that the prayers of the loving people around him, especially at New Life, MCF and other Families and Friends, are what enabled him to live as long as he had. He considered it a bonus that God had already allowed him to have his “three score and ten” referencing 70 years found in a scripture passage. Fred was 77 years when he passed, and he was ready (very ready) for the Lord to call him home. One of his great joys was that he provided well for his wife, including purchasing a condo in 2021 with his VA benefit.
Fred had no cognitive disabilities and was sharp! He was fully aware of the seriousness of his medical condition but believed the scripture in Romans 8:28 that somehow God would still work all these circumstances out for his good! Fred never claimed to be perfect (and he’d probably hurt you, bad, if you messed with his wife or tried to harm her in any way), but he was authentic in his desire to live right before God. There were many ups and downs regarding his health, but he NEVER blamed God and he continued to love his family and pray!!!
His wife would frequently hear him pray that God would help him finish whatever He wanted him to do in this life (his assignment) and then he wanted to come home, quickly! Fred often told his wife that he didn’t mind dying but he wanted it to be quick. God answered his prayer by allowing him to finish his work in this life and transition to Heaven, quickly! In less than 5 minutes time – Fred went from making a joke about coffee with his doctor and staff at Sentara Norfolk General Heart Hospital – to cardiac arrest/coded and then on a ventilator after attempts to revive him were unsuccessful. Two days later God called him home to be with Him.
Fred leaves to cherish his memory his wife Janet who loves him passionately and was ever grateful to be his wife for almost sixteen years; his son Frederick Sidney Curtis (Arlene who was lovingly adopted as Fred’s daughter); his daughters by marriage Jessica Suzanne Fuller (Michael) and Erika Nicole McNabola (Keith); Brother Sidney Curtis; Grandchildren Adrian James-Piggott (George), Tyler James, Carmen McNabola, Leila McNabola, Rachel Fuller, Alexander Fuller; Greatgrandchild Kamryn Ora George, and a host of devoted family and friends, including Sisters in Law Carolyn Dingle, and Dr. Patricia A. Dingle, Brothers in Law Timothy (Robin) Dingle Sr., and Lawrence I (Sarojini) Dingle; members of New Life Church in Virginia Beach, Virginia and Manna Christian Fellowship Church in Richmond, Virginia, and dedicated staff at Hampton Veterans Medical Center, Right at Home Personal Care, Reliance Medical Transport and fellow Veterans at the American Legion Post 37 in Norfolk, Virginia. Fred is in Glory now and Revelation 21:4 is a reality: no more pain, no more sickness and everlasting Joy!!! Wow!!! It is an honor to celebrate a life well-lived.