ST. ALBANS, W.Va. -- Gladys I. (Irene) James, 90, of St. Albans, W.Va., passed peacefully in her sleep on Thursday, July 7, 2011, at her home surrounded by her beloved family.

Irene (the former Gladys Irene Perdue) was born and raised in Ceredo, W.Va. She was an honor graduate of Ceredo-Kenova High School and was truly a Wayne Wonder. Irene was a member of the First Baptist Church of Ceredo, W.Va. She met the love of her life when she was 18 and married him, Vernal Kenneth (Ken) James, on April 17, 1940. Ken worked for Union Carbide for 42 years and was a World War II Navy veteran.

Irene and Ken raised their children (Don, Ron and Brenda) in Catlettsburg and Ashland, Ky., before moving to St. Albans in 1961. Irene and Ken were married for almost 55 years prior to Ken's death on March 21, 1995.

Irene was a homemaker, worked part-time at Stone & Thomas, and, of course, was a loving mother for her children and grandchildren. Also, Irene and Ken and most of the extended family were avid University of Kentucky Wildcat fans in any and all sports, particularly basketball and football. Go Big Blue! Irene always flew the UK flag in season. In her spare time, Irene enjoyed gardening and tending to her flowers, and enthusiastically tackling the weekly crossword puzzle. Irene will best be remembered as a kind and loving mother, doting grandmother and friend to all.

Irene is survived by her children, sons, Don (Lorraine) James of Alexandria, Va., and Ron (Kathy) James of Newcomerstown, Ohio, and daughter, Brenda (Steve) Pauley of Winfield, W.Va.; seven grandchildren, Tedra Thomas of Scott Depot, W.Va., Traci (Tim) Wells of Hurricane, W.Va., Brandi (Ike) Westfall of Gahanna, Ohio, Jennifer Hye of Westerville, Ohio, Robert (Nichole) James of Massillon, Ohio, Mike (Missy) McKibben of Newcomerstown, Ohio, and Molly (Melvin) Lahmers of Newcomerstown, Ohio; a niece, Jody Crone of Charleston, S.C.; two nephews, Jim Childers of Charlotte, N.C. and Phillip Dawson of Ashland, Ky.; 12 great-grandchildren; and, of course, her very great grand-dog, Fergus.

To her extended family, she will always be remembered for her almost photographic memory, which she cultivated and maintained to her end. She will be sorely missed by all her family and friends and everyone she came to touch in her 90 years.

Funeral services will be at 2 p.m. Tuesday, July 12, 2011, at Bartlett-Chapman Funeral Home, 409 Sixth Ave., St. Albans, W.Va., with the Rev. Richie McNiel officiating. Burial will follow in Cunningham Memorial Park, St. Albans. Visitation will be held from 7 to 9 p.m. Monday at the funeral home.

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Memorial contributions may be made to either: American Red Cross, 113 Lakeview Drive, Charleston, WV 25303; Lakeview United Methodist Church, 2624 East Parkview Drive, St. Albans, WV 25177; or to a charity of your choice.