Dr. Charles Alston James, 84, of Columbia, beloved husband, father, grandfather, physician and friend, died on Sunday, January 19, 2014 following a long illness faced with great courage. A celebration of his life will be held at Trinity Cathedral, 1100 Sumter Street, on Thursday, January 23rd at 12:30 o’clock with visitation on Wednesday evening, January 22nd at the home of Mr. & Mrs. Mark James, 5046 Courtney Road, Columbia from 5 until 8 o’clock. The family will also greet friends at the church following the memorial service. A private service of committal will be held. Shives Funeral Home is assisting the family. Born in Columbia on August 14, 1929, Dr. James was the son of Hugh McCutchen and Clara Tillman James. He grew up in Columbia and was educated in the Columbia city schools, graduating from Columbia High School in 1946. He graduated from The Citadel in 1950 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Pre-Medicine. While at The Citadel, he served as Regimental Commander, President of his class and Commander of The Summerall Guards. He was listed in Who’s Who in American Colleges and Universities and upon graduation was awarded the Algernon Sidney Sullivan Award. He graduated from the Duke University School of Medicine in 1954 with a Doctor of Medicine degree and eternal love for Duke basketball. During this time, he spent a summer as a student in pediatrics at St. Bartholomew’s Hospital in London, England where he discovered his love for pediatrics. He completed his internship and residency at The Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland from 1954-57. During his final months of residency, he met his future wife, Clara Christine Schroeder, better known as “Beebe”. They were married in October 1957 and began their married life in San Antonio, Texas where Dr. James served as the base pediatrician at Randolph Air Force Base. Following two years of service in the Air Force and the birth of their first child and only daughter, they returned to Columbia where he joined the pediatric practice of Dr. John R. Harvin. In 1974 he opened a solo practice. Shortly thereafter, Dr. Nelson Weston joined him in the founding of Sandhills Pediatric and Adolescent Clinic where he practiced until his retirement in 1998. Always active in the Columbia medical community, Dr. James took part in hospital activities, serving on the medical staffs of Richland Memorial, Baptist and Providence Hospitals and was also a pediatric consultant to Moncrief Army Hospital at Fort Jackson. He served as Chief of Pediatrics and Chief of the Medical Staff at Richland Memorial Hospital and from 1981-1984 served on the Richland Memorial Board of Trustees, being elected Chairman of the Board in his final year. He later served on and chaired the Richland Memorial Foundation Board. A diplomate of the American Board of Pediatrics and a fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics, Dr. James has been a member of the American Medical Association, the South Carolina Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics, the South Carolina Medical Society and the Columbia Medical Society (vice president). He was elected President of the South Carolina Pediatric Society in 1982. In time, he developed a special interest in adolescents and joined the Society for Adolescent Medicine, lecturing at MUSC and the USC School of Medicine, where he held an appointment as Clinical Professor of Pediatrics. Among his many honors, he was awarded the Robbie Benson Award for Distinguished Service to Children by Palmetto Health Children’s Hospital and the USC Department of Pediatrics in 1998 and the William Weston Distinguished Service Award for Excellence in Pediatrics in 2000. A “Founding Father” of Palmetto Health Children’s Hospital he co-chaired with his wife the successful campaign to establish the state’s first freestanding Children’s Hospital and was proud of the outstanding services provided in this new space. Following his retirement from active practice and the graduation of his four children from Hammond School, Dr. James served on the Board of Trustees and then as the volunteer Director of Health Affairs at the School, where he continued to share his wisdom and skill, offering counseling and health education to the adolescents he so cared for. He enjoyed sharing his love for the outdoors and hiking with students, starting the Hammond Hiking Club (HOBO’s). Upon his retirement from Hammond in 2005, the school established a community award in his honor and built the Charley James Trail on campus. A lifetime member of Trinity Cathedral, his faith was of primary importance in his life. He was a longtime member & Chair of the Youth Committee as well as serving on the Vestry as Junior and Senior Warden, member of a Dean’s Search Committee and on the Parish Council. He was committed to the Church’s role in Cange, Haiti and made multiple trips to provide medical care to children during a time when the only hospital was under a tree and house calls were made by dug-out canoe. As their family grew, daughter Christie was joined by three active sons, Chip, Hugh and Mark. They gave Charley reason to happily spend much of his time at Palmetto Little League Games, ballet recitals, football, basketball and baseball games watching children and grandchildren compete and cheerlead. He & Beebe especially enjoyed the times when kids and their friends filled the house with activity and time spent boating and waterskiing at the beach. The three outstanding new daughters and seven grandchildren that eventually joined the family were another amazing gift. How he loved them! An avid hiker and backpacker, he fulfilled his lifelong dream at the age of 61 when he embarked on the 2200 mile Appalachian Trail. Initially hoping to be a “through hiker” from Georgia to Maine, his aging knees forced him to slow down and hike in stages. Nevertheless, he completed 2,000 of the 2,200 miles making many new friends along the way. When not hiking, golf was another passion and the hours spent on the golf course and traveling together with childhood friends (The WWG or Wonderful Wives Group) was better than Duke Basketball. Charley James will always be remembered by the friends and colleagues who knew him as caring and compassionate and by the children and teens who were his patients as a wise, involved and caring physician. He is survived by Beebe James, his love for 56 years; daughter, Christine Elizabeth James; sons, Charles Alston “Chip” James, Jr., (Lucy Barr), all of Columbia, Dr. Hugh Tillman James (Caroline Rieger) of Spartanburg, and Mark McCutchen James (Mills McMeekin) of Columbia; and grandchildren, Charles Alston James, III (fianc , Cameron Dewing), Bryce Bradford James, Hugh Tillman James, Jr., Cooper McKenzie James, Francis Preston James, Mattie Mills McMeekin James and Mark McCutchen “Mac” James, Jr; a sister, Anita James Cavanaugh of Severna Park, Maryland; and sister-in-law, Pamela Poole James of Columbia. He is also survived by a large and loving extended family of James’s and Schroeder’s. He was predeceased by his brother, Hugh McCutchen “Mac” James, Jr. The family will always be grateful for the loving and compassionate care Dr. James received from all of the staff at Still Hopes Episcopal Retirement Community, but most especially from Kimberly Irvin, LaToya Gantt and Jameelah Fortune who cared for him well and kept him laughing always. Home caregiver, Cynthia Reyes, also provided him with friendship and loving support as did Palmetto Health Hospice. The family requests that donations be sent to The Trinity Cathedral Foundation, 1100 Sumter Street, Columbia, SC 29201, The Citadel, c/o The Citadel Foundation, 171 Moultrie Street, Charleston, SC 29409, or Palmetto Health Children’s Hospital, c/o Palmetto Health Foundation, Post Office Box 602575, Charlotte, NC 28260-2575. Memories and condolences may be shared at ShivesFuneralHome.com. Tags: 1950

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