October 11, 2016


Rita L. James, 85, of Mattoon, Illinois, passed away Sunday, Oct. 9, 2016, at her residence.

Funeral Mass will begin at 10 a.m., Thursday, Oct. 13, at Immaculate Conception Catholic Church, 320 N. 21st St., Mattoon, with Father John Titus officiating. Burial will follow in Calvary Cemetery. Visitation will be held at the church from 9 a.m. until the service begins.  Mitchell-Jerdan Funeral Home, located at 1200 Wabash Ave., Mattoon, is assisting the family with arrangements. Memorials in her honor may be made to St. Mary School, 2000 Richmond Ave., Mattoon, IL 61938. Visit www.mitchell-jerdan.com or www.facebook.com/mitchelljerdanfuneralhome to light a virtual candle in her honor or share a memory with her family.

Born Sept. 8, 1931, in Carroll, Iowa, Rita was a daughter of Henry and Loretta (Zenner) Roetker. She married William E. James on Sept. 28, 1951, in Mattoon, Illinois.  He passed away in June 2006.  

Mrs. James was a member of Immaculate Conception Catholic Church. She was a homemaker and volunteer at St. Mary School. Her hobbies included reading, crossword puzzles and gardening. She was a wonderful wife, a loving mother, and an adoring grandmother and great-grandmother.  

Survivors include her children, Dennis James and wife Shelley of Mattoon, Robert James of Mattoon, David James and wife Tammy of Mattoon, Patty Hartbank and husband Fred of Mattoon, Kathy Nichols and husband Michael of Mattoon, Vernon James and wife Sandy of Mattoon, Mary Nash and husband Barry of Downs, Illinois, and Michael James of Mattoon; one sister, Betty Mulvihill of Springfield, Illinois; 15 grandchildren; 14 great-grandchildren.  

In addition to her husband, she was preceded in death by her parents, five brothers and one sister.