Jeanne Sheldon James, a long time Ocala resident, passed away peacefully on January 6, 2019, at the age of 86. Originally from Massachusetts, young Jeanne put herself through nursing school then singly traveled across the country to California, joining the US Navy.
Lieutenant James cared for her charges with extraordinary compassion whether officer or enlisted, earning the honor of being the only woman allowed into the Chief’s Club. While stationed at Camp Pendleton, she met her husband of 61 years, Jesse James. After welcoming her first child, another journey across the country to Florida, where she would reside forever. Two more children would follow, a family blessed with love and devotion to each other. Balancing family and a nursing career, she returned to school graduating with two bachelor’s degrees followed by a law degree.
Upon retirement, one last move to Ocala, where she continued to blossom. Her many interests now had time to be explored. Always an avid reader, she was a member of the Library Volunteers Group, helping to expand the Ocala Library to its new location. In honor of her mother, she created the Helen Bradley Sheldon Endowment Scholarship Fund for Creative Writing. She was a supporter of the Ocala Royal Dames for Cancer Research, a nonprofit advocate organization funding cancer research. Her love of the arts led her to join the Ocala Theater and the Appleton Museum of Arts.
She is survived by her husband Jesse, her sons Geoff and Stephen, her loving daughter Leslie, sisters Joan and Nancy and numerous grandchildren.
Funeral services will be held on Tuesday January 15 at 11:00 a.m. at Christ the King Anglican Church, 4440 S.E. 3rd Avenue followed by a burial at Highland Memorial Park, 1515 N.E. 3rd Street. Arrangements by Hiers-Baxley Funeral Home, Ocala, FL.
In lieu of flowers, a donation to the Helen Bradley Sheldon Endowment Scholarship Fund for Creative Writing (contact (352) 237-2111) or the Ocala Royal Dames would be appreciated.