Cover photo for Charles Rayburn James's Obituary
Charles Rayburn James Profile Photo

Charles Rayburn James

d. September 2, 2018

Charles Rayburn “Charlie” James, 79, died Sunday morning, September 2, 2018 at his residence following a long illness. Born in Braggadocio, Missouri, he was the son of the late Gladys Laverne Rhodes James and Richard Edward James.

James enlisted in the United States Navy in 1960, serving 20 years before retiring as a Lieutenant Commander. While in the Navy, he received his GED and earned a B.S. from St. Leo College. On March 13, 1969, James led the retrieval of the Apollo 9 Lunar Module to the deck of the USS Guadalcanal, serving as the ship’s Flight Deck Officer for the mission. In 1977, he was awarded the Navy’s A-6 Intruder Maintenance Officer of the Year for the Eastern Seaboard Fleet. He retired from the Navy in 1980, but continued working as a consultant with the Navy. He was offered a job in Washington DC. But, Charles decided he wanted to be closer to his family.

In 1981, he and his wife, Margie, moved to Dyersburg. James quickly fell in love with the family’s new hometown, never truly happy when he was away from it. He spent the remainder of his life serving Dyersburg and Dyer County in countless ways. He served as President of the Dyer County chapter of Toastmasters International, Dyer County Homebuilders Association, Lions Club and Habitat for Humanity, as well as Chairman of Crimestoppers. He led the remodel of the Dyer County Salvation Army and the Humane Society Animal Shelter. He also led the installation of numerous wheel chair ramps county wide. Subsequently he was honored as a “Hometown Hero”.

His company, Prestige Remodeling received the Dyer County Chamber of Commerce Small Business of the Year. James was also selected as Distinguished Man of the Year.

Mr. Charlie was an active member of the First Baptist Church where he was a member of the Bibelos Sunday School class, served on the Benevolence Committee, and was long-time chief coffee maker.

Mr. Charlie was best known for his passion for Habitat for Humanity. For more than 24 years he devoted his life to the construction of 25 homes for deserving Dyer Countians in need of a hand up. Over his strenuous objections, the Habitat Board chose to rename the New Hope Subdivision “St. James Subdivision” in his honor.

Funeral services will be Wednesday, September 5, at 11:00 at First Baptist Church of Dyersburg officiated by Reverend Mike Hickman with interment to follow in Fairview Cemetery.

Evan James, Ian James, Owen James, Lee Schultz, Charles Maxey and Jeff Heathcott will serve as pallbearers. Habitat of Humanity Board members and Bibelos Class members will serve as honorary pallbearers.

The James family will receive friends Tuesday, September 4, from 5:00-7:00 at Curry Funeral Home and Wednesday, September 5th from 10:00 am-11:00 am at the church.

He is survived by his wife of 56 years, Margie Privett James; daughter Lori James Finley (Chip) of Dyersburg; son Eddie James (Lori Lynn) of Baton Rouge, LA; four sisters, Rebecca Jernigan of Savannah, TN, Mary Ann Hartsell (Larry) of Kennett, MO, Alice Effner of Monks Corner, SC, Dottie Kennedy (David) of Savannah, GA; six grandchildren: Elizabeth Finley Schultz (Lee), Rachel Finley, both of Dyersburg, Evan James, Alyssa James, Ian James, Owen James, all of Baton Rouge, LA, one great-grandson, Samuel Schultz, and “adopted daughter” exchange student, Carolina Mendez Bonilla of Bogota, Colombia.

In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by beloved granddaughter, Mary Peyton Finley, a sister, Terri James Malone, and one brother, Timmy James.

The family requests memorials be directed to Habitat for Humanity, 108 N. King Avenue, Dyersburg, TN 38024, First Baptist Church Benevolent Fund, 220 Masonic Street, Dyersburg, TN 38024 or Salvation Army, PO Box 1015, Dyersburg, TN 38025.

We are privileged and honored to serve the James family.  You may share your condolences and memories with the family at

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Charles Rayburn James, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services


Tuesday, September 4, 2018

5:00 - 7:00 pm (Central time)

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


Wednesday, September 5, 2018

10:00 - 11:00 am (Central time)

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Funeral Service

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Starts at 11:00 am (Central time)

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


Visits: 13

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the
Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Service map data © OpenStreetMap contributors

Send Flowers

Send Flowers

Plant A Tree

Plant A Tree