James W. Church, 87, of LeRay Street, passed away Thursday evening, February 24, 2022 at Hospice of Jefferson County at Ellis Farm, Watertown, NY.
Born on March 31, 1934 at SB VanDuzee Hospital, Gouverneur, NY, he was a son of Elmer Horace and Coralie May Hitchman Church.
After graduating from Evans Mills High School, he entered the US Marine Corp. in October 1954, serving during the Korean Conflict and was Honorably Discharged in October 1957.
James married Eva M. Crane of Newark, NY, on August 23, 1958 at the Marion Presbyterian Church. He worked as a welder-fabricator in Marion before purchasing the Church Family farm from his father in 1971. Eva was a registered nurse for many years, and she passed away December 2, 2009, after 51 years of marriage.
He also married Betina R. Brown in May 2010 and she passed away in November 2010.
James served as a member of LeRay Town Council and the Farm Bureau, Watertown, NY.
Surviving are three children, Brian (Lisa) Church, Millbrook, NY, James (Joan "Tootie") Church, Holly Springs, NC, and Judi Church, Rumford, RI; five grandchildren Andrew Church, Victoria (Matthew) McCullouch, Eric Church, Thomas (Melissa) Church, and James (Jessie) Church and four great-grand-children: Cora McCullouch, Charley Church, Cooper Church, and Codi Church. Also surviving is his brother, Elmer Church, Watertown, NY and several nieces, nephews and cousins.
He was predeceased by his parents, both wives, and three sisters: Phyllis Lilly, Freida Monahan, and Ellen Eckhoff.
A Celebration of Life Service will be 11 am, Monday, February 28, 2022 at the Indian River Baptist Church, 42 Main Street, Philadelphia, NY, with Rev. Joe Moran, officiating.
Burial will be next to his wife, Eva Church at the Marion Cemetery, Marion, NY, in the spring.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Hospice of Jefferson County, 1398 Gotham Street, Watertown, NY 13601.
Arrangements are with Frederick Bros. Funeral Home, Theresa, NY.
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