John D. “JD” James

John D. James (J.D.), 91, of South Abington Twp, passed away Sunday, May 28th at Willowbrook Assisted Living.  His wife of 67 years, Jean Sykes James, died May 10, 2016.

Born in Scranton, PA, son of the late David and Elizabeth Evans James, he graduated from Scranton Central High School, Keystone College, and attended the University of Scranton.

He was a proud Navy Veteran, serving during World War II on the minesweeper USS Revenge that was the first ship into Tokyo Bay following the bombing of Pearl Harbor.  He was a third generation Metropolitan Life insurance salesman and after retirement, worked for Gertrude Hawk Chocolates.  He was a former member of the Lake Underwood Nimrod Association.

J.D. and Jean were pioneer campers in the 1950’s starting with tent camping, then travel trailers and finally motorhomes.  He served on the board of directors of Holiday Rambler Recreational Vehicle Club and went on to become National President of HRRVC.  They traveled in every state and province in North America and in later years spent winters in North Ft Myers, FL.

J.D. was a member of Trinity Congregational United Church of Christ and Trinity Class.

He is survived by daughters Barbara Mushel and husband Al, Sue Kashuba and husband Joe, grandchildren and great-grandchildren, sister Marjorie Grippa and brother and sister-in-law Curt and Margaret James.

He was preceded in death by daughter and son-in-law, Karen and Bill Ollendyke and sister and brother-in-law Shirley and Wyndham Davies and brother in law John Grippa.

Funeral service and interment will be private at the convenience of the family.  Memorial contributions may be made to Trinity Congregational  Church, 229 S Main Ave, Scranton PA 18504.

To share a memory or to leave your condolences for the family please visit

Arrangements by Vanston and James Funeral Home under the direction of Robert C. Jones, funeral director.


  1. Bruce Ott

    I consider it a privilege to have known J.D. A great guy and friend. I lost track of him during the last
    couple of years, but often thought of him. Always ready with a smile and outstretched hand and
    chuckle. if a role model needed a definition. I would suggest ” J.D. JAMES”.

  2. Joe Clark

    I had the extreme pleasure of making J.D.’s acquaintance this Spring. He conducted a well informed, spirited presentation of he and his wife’s life traveling about North America in various modes of camping. Recently he and I shared a ‘high ball” and he expounded on his life, his children and his beloved wife. We talked about the war, raising children, making a living and caravan travel with wife in tow. He shared that the trip to Alaska through Canada was one of his more challenging and fulfilling trips. Likened to Moses leading his caravan, he exuded confidence and pride in all he had accomplished. Whenever I ran into J.D. in the lobby of Willow Brook, he always had a warm smile, a firm handshake and a kind word. I am deeply saddened by his passing. I have known him for such a short time and yet I miss him greatly. My condolences to the Family. I share a fond farewell with his countless Friends. Godspeed to that next Great Adventure J.D.

  3. R.J. Donahue

    I was fortunate to have had J.D. as a positive mentor in my youth. I was also fortunate to have had him as my leader on our trip to New Mexico. Where he shared his camping and outdoor skills with us. I am thankful I had his counseling and guidance in a time when I needed. WHAT A GREAT MAN

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