Patricia W. James
Patricia W. James, known best to her friends and family as “Pat”, passed away peacefully in her home with family by her side on October 1, 2021.
As a longtime resident of the Tiburon Peninsula for 63+ years, our mom’s journey began in Shanghai, China, on March 1, 1928. During her early years, she was raised in a British community as her father worked for a British textile company and where she attended multinational schools. When the Sino-Japanese War started in 1937, she and her family were taken to safety by submarine to a waiting ship that eventually ferried them to Hong Kong. At the age of 18 or so, her father sent Pat and her sister to San Francisco, where she lived until her marriage to Canadian Jim James. They then made their big move to Tiburon in 1958.
Her family and home were central to her life. Her home was always welcoming for family and friends alike and her vision for design was forward thinking. She loved being in the outdoors: taking a walk, hiking and hitting the tennis ball, which she handed down through multiple generations. She loved the arts and travelled around the world to many places, yet it was her home and love of gardening that fulfilled her most.
Along with family, our mom worked on several projects and issues impacting the Tiburon community. In the early 1960s, she along with others were instrumental in starting the first competitive swim team at the Tiburon Peninsula Club, which would go on to become a force in the county.
She volunteered when needed, making lunches for the needy, helping out when the refugees arrived from Vietnam and being a teacher’s aide before getting her real estate license. She also worked on one of the first neighborhood utility undergrounding projects in the early 2000s and was active in opposing the proposed skateboard park and wireless telecommunications pole near McKegney Green. She understood that this peninsula held a sacred beauty.
One of Pat’s friends said, “Pat has a radiant heart.” And yes, that describes her, always putting others before herself. Whether our mom was born with a radiant heart or her experiences during wartime and a multicultural upbringing shaped her, she was always there for us or to bring you a Thanksgiving meal, a ride to your doctor’s appointment or open her home to be a caregiver.
Our mom will be missed greatly by our family and her friends. She will always be remembered as a loving wife, mother, grandmother and friend, with a generous spirit, a quiet strength and grace. Those of us who hold Pat’s memory in our hearts include her three children, Ken James, Doug James (Emma) and Laurie James; her grandchildren Heather Ham (Trevor), Jennifer James and Matt James; great-grandchildren Reed Ham and Shane Ham; her sister, Margaret Bradfield; her brother, Edward Baptiste; and several nieces and nephews. Her brother Ron and her loving husband Jim predeceased her.
The family wishes to thank all the caregivers, Kaiser Home Health and By the Bay Health (Hospice) for all their caring hands. Those who wish to express sympathy in Pat’s name may consider making a donation to either By the Bay Health, Marin Food Bank or to their favorite charity.