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Rae Jean James
January 30, 2024
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Rae Jean (Hazen) James passed away peacefully on January 30, 2024, at the age of 91. She was born and raised in Johnson City, where she began her teaching career. She married her parent’s paperboy, Tom James, after getting a ride in his red Jaguar. They were happily married for 61 years.
She was a graduate of Johnson City High School and Oneonta State. She taught at Johnson City and Union Endicott High Schools. In 1988, she was the New York State Home Economics Teacher of the year.
She was active in many organizations, including Sarah Jane Methodist Church, St. Paul Methodist, Sports Car Club of America, Rolling Greens Woodshop and DeRuyter Lake Association. Rae Jean remained active well into her 80’s as President of the Forum at The Nottingham. Over the years, she enjoyed cake decorating, floral arranging and knitting. She was the first female snowmobile instructor in New York State. She owned her own business, Holiday Flowers.
Rae Jean cherished her time with her daughters and grandchildren, attending their sporting events and taking trips with them. She also held an “etiquette camp” for them and wrote an etiquette book. She and Tom especially enjoyed summers with their family at DeRuyter Lake, where they spent time fishing, cooking and woodworking together.
She is survived by her children, Renee James (John Murad) and Marcy Patterson, Grandchildren Leigh Anne (Chris), Courtney, Matt, Bess and Patrick. She was predeceased by her husband Tom, parents Ajtora and Bessie, her brother Manley, and her son-in-law Paul Patterson.
Calling hours will be at Sarah Jane Johnson Methodist Church, 308 Main Street, Johnson City, NY at 11:30 AM on February 3, 2024 with services at 12:30 PM.
In lieu of flowers, please send donations to Sarah Jane Johnson United Methodist Church or Tioughnioga Lake Preservation Foundation, P.O. Box 476, DeRuyter, NY 13052.
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