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Memories & Candles

“What a friend. He was an academic and social leader at HHS. Our paths separated after High School, but our connection stayed fast. Todd will be...Read More »
1 of 4 | Posted by: Lynn Fisher - Fort Wayne, IN

“I first met Todd and Judy, in Cocoa Beach, FL, where we both worked for IBM and lived in the same apartment complex, The Diplomat. We were and have...Read More »
2 of 4 | Posted by: Rick Richardson - Friend

“Todd was my best friend in Harlan High School, Harlan, Indiana and still my best friend today ”
3 of 4 | Posted by: Edd Eager - Harlan, IN - friend

“I'll always remember our days working together at Rogers Market. A true friend from HHS.Denny Koldewey ”
4 of 4 | Posted by: Dennis Koldewey - Santa Ana, CA


Always a fighter, and of powerful will, Todd Leigh James, 77, of Denver, NC, peacefully went to be with the Lord on Sunday, May 8th, 2022 after a long battle with health issues. Born in Harlan, Indiana on July 11, 1944, he was the son of the late Florence James and her husband, William.

Judy Windham James is his beloved wife of almost 55 years. They met on a blind date (arranged by Judy's sister!) in Tallahassee, Florida, while he was a student at Florida State University, from where he graduated. Todd and Judy became sweethearts and were married in 1967 in Tallahassee. In addition to Judy, Todd is survived by his two children, Traci James Rigsbee and her husband Keith of Morganton, and Adam James and his wife, Trish, of Nashville, Tennessee. Todd has five grandchildren of whom he is very proud, Jack, Finn, and Charlotte Rigsbee of Morganton, and Sadie and Max James of Nashville. Todd is also survived by his two siblings, older brother Bill James of Fort Wayne, Indiana and wife Rita, and eldest, sister Florence James Barrett and husband Dale, of Monte Sereno, California and their families.

After college, Todd started working for IBM at the age of 23 and remained a loyal employee there for 32 years. Together, Todd and Judy lived in numerous places during his long career with IBM: Merritt Island, FL, where he worked with the NASA Space Program, Atlanta, GA, where he was introduced to sales, Miami, FL, where he started to specialize in banking automation, and finally Charlotte, NC, where Todd excelled in selling IBM solutions to the rapidly growing banks. It was in Charlotte that Todd and Judy chose to put down roots so that their children could benefit from growing up in Charlotte.

Todd was eager to share his firmly held belief in the wisdom of the Bible and power of prayer. He and Judy raised their family in the Christian faith. Todd was also interested in the wider world, and he and Judy traveled to a number of interesting places as a couple and as a family, instilling in his children a lifelong love of travel. Another aspect of their childhood that Traci and Adam recall fondly were 'Saturday work days,' during which outside chores such as gutter cleaning and mulch hauling had to be performed. Dreaded at the time, those days are remembered now as valuable life lessons and happy memories.

Todd enjoyed Florida so much during his time in college, that he always dreamed of living by the ocean one day. He was able to make that a reality, and Todd and Judy split their time between Atlantic Beach, Florida and Denver, North Carolina for eighteen years. During that time, Todd enjoyed watching the sun rise over the ocean and the boats travel across the world, walking on the beach, and eating fresh seafood. He especially enjoyed his time as a member of First Baptist Church of Jacksonville.
During Todd's recent years of health troubles, Judy was his devoted caretaker, and never wavered in her support and encouragement.

A celebration of Todd's life will be held in the sanctuary of Westport Baptist Church in Denver on Saturday, May 14, 2022 at 3:00 PM with Pastor Steve Owensby officiating. A receiving of friends and family will be held at 2:30 pm in the sanctuary of Westport Baptist Church.
A private family graveside service will be held earlier in the day in Morganton, NC.

In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to one of Todd's preferred charities: Denver Wesleyan Church, where he enjoyed volunteering at the food bank. https://www.denverwesleyan.com/donate/

Funeral Home
Heritage Funeral Service
1507 E. Main Street Valdese, NC 28690
Tel. (828) 874-0411
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