Kate Wrenn Vestal James passed away peacefully at Durgin Pines, Kittery, Maine, on November 17, 2020, with her daughter by her side. She was born on May 28, 1924, in Lewisville, NC. She was predeceased by her parents, Rev. Joseph W. Vestal and Erna Yarborough Vestal, and one older sister, Jessie V. Ingram. She is survived by her two daughters, Elizabeth J. Willingham of Richmond, VA, and Janie J. Gendron and husband, George, of York, ME.
Kate graduated from Greensboro College, NC, with a degree in Religion and Music, and taught high school English. She met Charles G. James while in junior high in Farmington, NC, and they were married in 1947. They made their home in Richmond, VA, where Charles had a distinguished career as a state judge with the Industrial Commission for the Commonwealth of Virginia. They were devoted members of Trinity United Methodist Church, and Kate held several offices with the UMW and was loyal to her many friends at Trinity. Kate and Charles were devoted supporters of their UNC Tar Heel basketball team for their entire lives. They spent many holidays traveling to NC to spend time with their families.
Kate moved to Maine in 2015 and made many new friends at Sentry Hill and Durgin Pines assisted living communities. She shared her many gifts and interests, including literature, teaching, music, playing the piano, and gardening. Kate will be missed by each person fortunate enough to have kept company with her over her 96 years. Her beautiful smile, selfless nature, generous spirit, warmth, and insight will be forever in our hearts. We will hear her voice, each day, for the rest of our lives.
Private services will take place in Farmington, NC. In lieu of flowers, please donate to the library of your choice, in her memory.
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