Ila Jane Smith James

September 11, 1925 ~ November 14, 2018 (age 93)

 A well lived life for 93 years and beloved matriarch of the James family, Ila Smith "Mammy" James, lifelong resident of the Walnut Community, passed away peacefully Wednesday morning November 14, 2018 at the North Mississippi Medical Center in Tupelo following a brief illness.
  Funeral Services cherishing the life of "Mammy" will be at 10 AM Friday November 16 in The Heritage Chapel of Ripley Funeral Home with her son, Kenny James and grandson, Josh James officiating. Burial will follow in the James Family cemetery near Walnut.
  Mammy was born September 11, 1925 in Tippah County and was the daughter of the late Vester Thurmond and Thelma Lavera Campbell Smith. In her earlier years she attended Chalybeate Public School, continued her education at The Oakland School in Tippah County and married Earl Kennedy James, a United States World War II Army Veteran who preceded her in death on April 13, 2008.
  A member of Walnut Church of Christ, Mammy was an active woman throughout her life and devoted herself to her family and her community. Mr. and Mrs. James operated James Grocery, a familiar landmark for many years in the Walnut community. She was also employed by the North Tippah School System in theTitle 20 program and later operated "The Clothes Box " and 'Mammy's Restaurant" before her retirement.
   A devoted mother and "Mammy", she had an impact on many lives through her involvement in the community. Her home was always open and served as a gathering place for both family and friends who enjoyed fishing and special times at her favorite lake, "Lakeila" located on the James property.
  Mammy will be remembered for her love of music, westerns, hummingbirds, the Atlanta Braves and her famous grilled cheese sandwiches, the comfort food that served several generations. She lived a full and wonderful life with great achievements that will always be cherished by her family and friends.
  Visitation will continue Friday until service time at The Ripley Funeral Home.
  Blessed with a large family, Mammy is survived by her children Barbara D. Beavers, Kenny James (Sheron), Greg James (Tena) and Tim James (Kim) all of Walnut, a sister, Charlotte Allen of Falkner, twelve grandchildren, Joseph Doyle (Karen), Kimery Huddleston (Mike), Alicia Doyle, Michelle James, Mark James, Jonathan James, Amanda Wilburn (Cory), Joshua James (Tonya), Caleb James (Angela), Candice Still (Josh), Jesse James and Amelia James, nineteen great grandchildren and two great great grandchildren.
  She was also preceded in death by a sister, Virginia Wilson and two brothers, Farris T. Smith and Phelon Smith.

  "Truly, she was a woman of valor, worth a price above rubies and we praise her for what she has done."

  The family request that memorials be directed to The Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, Eli's Allies, 506 Halle Park Dr., Collierville, TN 38017
  The Ripley Funeral Home is honored to serve the James family and invites you to share memories.