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Doris June (Cates) James

May 28, 2023

Doris James Obituary

Doris Cates James –May 28, 2023

Born in Tiger Valley, TN, Doris June Cates James departed this world for her Heavenly home on May 28, 2023, one month shy of her 84th birthday. The second child of William Nelson Cates, Sr. and Zemma Lucille Gouge Cates, she attended Tiger Valley Elementary and Hampton High School. Commuting from Hampton every day, she graduated from East Tennessee State College (now University). Upon graduation, she worked as the administrative assistant for Dr. George Dove, Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at ETSU, and she started taking graduate classes. During one class, she met Garland James, and they went to Dairy Queen (then on West Walnut Street) for ice cream after class. They married at Little Doe Freewill Baptist Church in Tiger Valley.

A few years later, their three children arrived in quick succession. Having three young children, Doris spent several years at home. She later returned to ETSU working for the department chair in the Department of Pathology in the Quillen College of Medicine, where she was known as Dr. Coogan’s right hand. She was proud of the work that she did in the Department of Pathology and worked there until her retirement.

As her husband became a part-time and then full-time United Methodist minister, Doris became a pastor’s wife, joining Garland as he served charges in Hawkins County; McCarty, New Victory, and Boones Creek (twice) in Washington County; Bookwalter in Knoxville; Panther Springs in Morristown; and Grace United Methodist in Erwin.

Her family will remember her joyful spirit, sharp wit, easy smile, can-do attitude, and gentle nature. She loved reading and collecting cut glass. Doris was devoted to God, church, and family. She was always ready for a family get-together. An imminently practical woman, she would attend an impromptu family cookout with rollers in her hair if need be, shop the clearance rack first, and keep a freezer stocked with ice cream that she bought when it went on sale.

Left to cherish her memory are Garland E. James, her husband of 59 years; her children Sharon and David McGee (Johnson City), Michael and Cindy James (Mountain City), and Susan James (Johnson City), along with the only two people who could call her “Nanny,” her grandsons John David McGee (Charlotte, NC) and Samuel James McGee (Johnson City) to whom she would feed ice cream for breakfast without reservation if they asked and of whom she was very proud. She is also survived by her brother William Nelson Cates, Jr. and wife Sally (Doraville, GA), sister Joy and husband Ben Williams (Elizabethton), brothers-in-law Gilbert Honeycutt (Hampton), Charles James (Pennington Gap, VA), Tom James (Jonesville, VA), and Gary Bryant (Vandalia, OH); sisters-in-law Gladys Cridlin (Jonesville, VA) and Jean McQueen (Middletown, OH), special cousin Shirley Morgan, and nieces, nephews, great nieces and nephews, and cousins. She is preceded in death by her parents; her parents-in-law Paul and Glanita James; her best friend and older sister, Thelma, and brother-in-law Bill Jaynes; sister Judy Honeycutt; sisters-in-law

Mildred James, Mary Ruth James, and Inez Bryant; brothers-in-law Marion James, Nelson Cridlin, and P.J. McQueen; and nephew Nat Cridlin.

The family thanks those who cared for Doris during her final months, especially the staff of Agape House and Gentiva Hospice who provided attentive, loving care.

Following Doris’s wishes, the family will hold a private celebration of life in lieu of a funeral. Ice cream will be served.

Snyder's Memorial is honored to serve the family of Mrs. Doris June Cates James.

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