James A. Ham, Sr.April 3, 1943 ~ October 5, 2017 (age 74)
On October 5, 2017, Mr. James A. Ham, Sr. was called home for a celebration with the Lord. He was born on April 3, 1943 in Pier Station, Florida.
Mr. Ham graduated from Dunbar High School in 1961 after being an all-star football player and the “Man on Campus.”
In 1963, Mr. Ham joined the United States Marine Corps and was immediately placed in aviation as a specialist (“swing with the wings”) in logistics. He was deployed to Vietnam where he served not only in logistics, but as a machine gunner of the famed “Huey” helicopter” where wounded Marines were removed from the battlefields. He achieved the rank of gunnery sergeant, which he took very seriously. Mr. Ham also served on the Marine Corps boxing team for several years, becoming the USMC boxing champion for 3 years in the Junior Welterweight class. He also won the Golden Gloves championship title as well as being a member on the 1968 Olympic Boxing Team.
Mr. Ham became a Mason while living in Tampa, FL. He served in leadership positions in most of the Masonic houses and achieved the most illustrious rank of 33rd Degree. He was also an Honorary Potentate in the Shrine.
Of all of his achievements, Mr. Ham’s love for God was the most awesome. His famed statement, no matter what crisis he was in, was, “God is good, all the time.” He was an active member and gospel vocalist in their small church in Pier Station when he was young.
He is survived by his loving wife of 49 years, Mrs. Sandra J. Ham; children, Kimberly Chavis (Matthew), James A. Ham, Jr. and Jason M. Ham (Arian); grandchildren, Ki’Ana Hadley, James T., Myia and Destiny Ham; his loving mother-in law, Mrs. Arvilla Aldridge; most loving niece, Delores “Sister” Gist; sister-in law, Loretta Armstrong; brother-in law, William Aldridge; favorite cuz, Jo Ann Jackson; cousin, Carlton Frazier; favorite best friend, Paul Cordero; and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.
A home going celebration will be held on Saturday, October 14, 2017 at 11:00 a.m. and a visitation on Friday, October 13, 2017 from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. both at Aaron and Burney Bivens Funeral Home, 529 Kingsley Avenue, Orange Park, Florida 32073, (904) 264-1233. Interment with honors will be held on Monday, October 16, 2017 at 11:00 a.m. at Jacksonville National Cemetery, 4083 Lannie Road, Jacksonville, Florida, 32218.