Obituary of Sara Avalon James
Sara A. James died at the age of 81, on December 9, 2022.
She was born in San Francisco, California on August 4, 1941 to Mr. and Mrs. David A. Coleman while her father was in military training. She grew up in Holton, Kansas.
An avid reader and musician, Sara began playing the organ for the Holton Methodist Church at the age of 15, and continued as a church organist for the remainder of her life. She majored in business administration, minored in mathematics, and studied the organ during her time at the University of Kansas. Graduating after three and a half years, she began working as an actuarial assistant and computer programmer for Security Benefit Life in Topeka, Kansas. She continued as a homemaker and organist until 1978, when she returned to George Mason University to complete her course work to become a Certified Public Accountant, passing all parts of the exam on the first try in 1980, and then began work for small public accounting firms. In the late 1990's, she took a nine-month course, Lutheran Program for Musicians, under the guidance of Dr. Austin Lovelace.
Sara joined P.E.O. International, a women's philanthropical and educational organization, at age 18, and continued her service to the organization in many different chapters as she followed her husband's career transfers, serving as officer in many chapters and as a State Officer in Massachusetts. She had also been a long-term member of The American Guild of Organists, serving as a chapter treasurer. She enjoyed choral singing, and for a number of years, belonged to The Hymn Society, attending a number of its annual conferences with her husband.
Sara enjoyed traveling, particularly European river cruises. She was an unselfish, loyal and supportive friend to many, and will be dearly missed by family, friends, and neighbors.
She is survived by her husband, Ivan C. James II; her sons, Scott Edward James of Colorado Springs, Colorado and Michael David James of Fort Worth, Texas; grandsons, Michael Andrew James, Callan Andrew James and Brendon Michael James; and sisters, Trish Brown of Delaware and Bette Ross of Salt Lake City, Utah.
She was preceded in death by her parents, and her sister, Linda Suchman of Lees Summit, Missouri.
There will be no memorial service. In lieu of flowers, Memorial Contributions in her memory may be sent directly to the P.E.O. International (Philanthropic Education Organization) Foundation: https://donations.peointernational.org.
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