William O’Neal James aka Bill was born July 21, 1948 in New York City to Joseph James aka Grandpa (Poo Poo) and Leona James. He was one of nine brothers and sisters. Bill passed on March 8, 2019.
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He joins his late brother Leroy, Claude, Russell and his sister Carol. He is survived by his brother Rubio, Vernon, Alonzo and Sister Sheryl aka Cherry. He leaves behind two sons Gerhardt and Ryan James. His grandchildren Cristian and Camryn James, along with a host of nephews, nieces, cousins and friends.
Bill was raised in Manhattan in Frederick Douglas Projects. Bill, along with his brothers and sister, loved being in their Mother’s bedroom before going to bed, some will drop asleep. This was one of the highlights they shared together growing up as a family. He completed high school and had a love for playing basketball. He even had aspirations to making it in the League, due to his tall stature and athleticism.
Bill was a budding entrepreneur, a Chef with unique culinary art skills. He enjoyed fishing, going to the beach, going out to shows, love to record videos, playing music and was a collector of records and vintage equipment. The “host with the most” Bill would DJ block parties in the neighborhood and mixed soulful music. He later on decided to pursue a career in the Taxi and limousine industry where he later obtain a medallion to kick off his operation.
Bill enjoyed driving and although his career was successful it was short-lived. At the age of 38, he was involved in a traumatic accident that changed his life forever. Despite the odds, he was fighter and lived out the rest of his life as a quadriplegic. Bill began to reinvent his lively hood through rehabilitation and manage to develop a winning mindset. He loved birds and develop a new passion for state of the art electronic innovations. He love shopping and he never once complained despite the condition he was in. Dad was always surrounded by a wonderful host of home health aides that evolved to an extended family like Maria Ola-Sims and host of others, along with his best friend Jimmy Foy who was always there for him since childhood years.
Dad loved his grandkids from the time of birth. Gerhardt, his son, would fly up from Georgia and lay his babies on his chest and they would drool and vomit all over his beard. His son would say “dad let me clean this mess up” and his simple reply would be “Nah man that’s blessings”. He would shower them with love and gifts and always call to speak with them on the phone. Dad always had a giving spirit and love to help.
Bill was a great man full of Joy, Strength and passion he love tough. He will be cherished