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Patricia Ann James

September 14, 1930 February 18, 2021
Patricia Ann James
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Obituary for Patricia Ann James

Patricia Ann (Boldes) James (September 14, 1930 – February 18, 2021)

Patricia (“Pat”) James, formerly of Farmington Hills, left the planet clear-eyed and, in her words, “not afraid and ready after a long, happy life.” She was born in South Dakota to Gustave and Elizabeth (Callahan) Boldes. She was an only child who moved annually as she was growing up—two factors that strongly influenced her and that she vowed not to repeat when she had a family of her own. She came to Detroit with her parents as a high school senior and made Michigan her home for the rest of her life. After graduating as an RN from Herman Kiefer Nursing School in Detroit, she married Richard (“Dick”) James in 1954 and raised four children with him while pursuing a successful nursing career at Providence Hospital in Southfield. Pat and Dick enjoyed travel, playing bridge, golfing, and otherwise spending time with family and in the company of many dear friends. Pat’s considered opinions and high standards, especially in the realm of health care, led to the quick discovery of kindred spirits as well as occasional friction that often evolved into mutual respect. She never expected anything of anyone that she didn’t demand of herself. Following a stroke in 2017, she worked diligently to regain as much function and independence as possible, causing one of her therapists to remark that Pat had come the furthest of any patient she had ever worked with..

Pat was an avid reader and loved a good story, whether in a book, a poem, a song, or true life. The New Testament story of Martha and Mary figured prominently in her world view (Luke 10:38-42). A self-identified “Martha,” she valued the role of “realists” who get things done in the world, while also admiring those able to focus on more spiritual pursuits.

Pat was preceded in death by Dick in 2014 and grandson Nathan Cauley in 2011. She is survived by her children Mark (Gail) James, Karen (Mark) Mitchell, Sue (Pat) Cauley, and Marianne James; grandchildren Aaron (Jill Chapin) Mitchell, Leah (Justin) Newman, and Elizabeth Cauley (Jairo Garcia); great grandchildren Rowan and Brynna Newman; cousin Nancy Olson; and many friends, old and new, who have meant so much to her.

Donations may be made in Pat’s name to Angela Hospice of Livonia ( or the charity of one’s choice. Due to covid, no service is planned at this time.

Gone From My Sight
I am standing upon the seashore. A ship, at my side,
spreads her white sails to the moving breeze and starts
for the blue ocean. She is an object of beauty and strength.
I stand and watch her until, at length, she hangs like a speck
of white cloud just where the sea and sky come to mingle with each other.
Then, someone at my side says, "There, she is gone."
Gone where?
Gone from my sight. That is all. She is just as large in mast,
hull and spar as she was when she left my side.
And, she is just as able to bear her load of living freight to her destined port.
Her diminished size is in me -- not in her.

And, just at the moment when someone says, "There, she is gone,"
there are other eyes watching her coming, and other voices
ready to take up the glad shout, "Here she comes!"
And that is dying...

-Henry Van Dyke


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