Chris E. James, 51, of Lonoke, Arkansas, passed away July 28, 2013 with his family and friends by his side. He walked a journey with the "peace that passes all understanding" after being diagnosed with colorectal cancer on December 27, 2011. Chris was born May 28, 1962 in Stuttgart, Arkansas and resided in Lonoke, Arkansas for the past 23 years. He graduated from Carlisle High School in 1980 with high honors. He attended Hendrix College in Conway, Arkansas and completed his Bachelor of Arts degree at the University of Arkansas, Little Rock, Arkansas.
Chris was the Accounting Manager of Central Arkansas Planning and Development, Lonoke, Arkansas from 1985 to present. Chris also was a partner of Southern Arrangements Floral and Gifts, as well as Merrigreen Acres. Chris embraced his community by his passionate involvement in many organizations. He was past president and served on the Board of Directors of the Lonoke Chamber of Commerce and was named the 2013 Outstanding Citizen of the Year. He enjoyed volunteering at Chamber events because he knew the value of business relationships and the future that the City of Lonoke could obtain through these events. He was a graduate of the Lonoke County Leadership program. This program provided Chris with a network of business relations that increased his knowledge of the county he resided. He was a member of the Lonoke Public School Board, having served as President, Vice Present and Secretary. He always recognized that a solid educational foundation and participation in school activities would allow all students to be prepared for their next educational opportunity or life in general. Chris may have graduated as a Bison, however, he truly was a Jackrabbit through and through! He was an active Board Member for the Family Resource Center of Lonoke and desired to ensure that families in need received food supplements especially at Thanksgiving and Christmas. Chris loved his church, Lonoke United Methodist, and he dedicated his time, talents and treasures. He was the church Treasurer and Senior High Youth Director. In addition to these roles, he sang in the church choir, church praise band, served as Vacation Bible School Director and when asked to help with other church events, he eagerly volunteered. Chris also volunteered at the Wade Knox Children’s Advocacy Center and with any school event that his sons were involved.
Chris is survived by his wife of 23 years, Karen Seidenstricker James, two amazing sons Madison and Christian; and parents Kenny and Margie James of Carlisle, Arkansas; and brother and sister in law Robert & Cathy Seidenstricker. Chris had two "adopted" siblings Karla Booe of Little Rock and John Philpot of Cabot. Chris’s immediate family was small; however, his family was his community of friends. Chris was preceded in death by his sister, Loretta Ann, his grandparents Presley and Elwanda James, Carlisle, Arkansas and Marce and Stella Ruth Greenhill, Tichnor, Arkansas.
A celebration of life will be held at 2:00 p.m. Wednesday, July 31, 2013, at Lonoke United Methodist Church, Lonoke, Arkansas. Interment will follow in Lonoke Cemetery. Visitation will be an hour before the service at Lonoke United Methodist Church. Memorials in Chris’s memory may be given to Lonoke United Methodist Church, Family Resource Center of Lonoke or the Wade Knox Children’s Advocacy Center of Lonoke County. Arrangements by Boyd Funeral Home, Lonoke. http://www.boydfuneralhome.net/
"With God’s Grace, loving spirit and the prayers of friends like all of you, I have been lifted above and beyond what could have been a debilitating circumstance, but instead this has been an amazing journey of faith. Today, I am not only surviving, I am thriving." – Chris James