Rosa James

May 9, 1934 ~ July 21, 2020 (age 86)

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Mrs. Rosa Davis James passed away peacefully at her home at the age of 86 on Tuesday, July 21, 2020


Mrs. James was educated in the Charlotte Public School district and graduated from West Charlotte High school in the Class of 1951.


Her love for learning, led her to pursue a bachelor’s degree in Business Education from North Carolina Central university in Durham, North Carolina in 1955. At the university she pledged as a member of Alpha Chi Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority in 1954. She earned a Master's in Education and Reading from the University of Missouri at Kansas City, in 1972.  Mrs. James served 36 years in several capacities within the Kansas City, Mo. School District from 1962 to 1998 as a classroom teacher, reading specialist, instructional assistant, and assistant to the principal.


Mrs. James participated in numerous activities and held leadership positions as assistant youth leader with the late Rev. David Shipley as director, Sunday School teacher, Youth Choir director, Celestial Chancel choir member and conductor and chairperson of the African American History committee.


Her community service included volunteerism as mentor/tutor for high school students.  Her memberships included NAACP Life member, Friends of Bruce Watkins Cultural Heritage center, Spirit of Freedom Fountain, Inc., Freedom, Inc., United Minority Media association, Oak Park Neighborhood association and facilitator of the Black Agenda group. She served on several committees appointed by various mayors to screen candidates for Municipal and Circuit Court judgeships.


Mrs. James was the first African American female gubernatorial appointee of the Kansas City Election Board.  


She leaves to cherish her love and legacy her children, Mrs. Sonia Randle (Kenny) DeSoto, Texas and Frederick D. James (Adrienne), Anaheim, California; a brother, James H. Davis (Jean), Charlotte, North Carolina; granddaughters, Taylor Randle and Simone Randle; grandsons Brian James, Christopher D. James; Terrance Cross; great-grandchildren Christian James and Wykiiuh Dawn Cross; nieces Wanda Jones, Gwendolyn Cooper, Kellye James, Kasey James; nephews Eric Davis and Christopher James and special friend and "play son" Eric L. Wesson Sr. (Candance), and a host of other relatives and friends.  


Private home going celebration will take place on Thursday, Aug. 6, at Second Baptist church. Private interment will be at Longview cemetery. 


Services will be available via Livestream: or YouTube: search SBC Video


The family is planning a public memorial for The Rosa James Foundation for Education, to celebrate her legacy after COVID-19.


Donations are being accepted for The Rosa James Foundation for Education currently being established in her honor. Checks can be made out to Rosa James and place foundation in the memo box.  Donations can be mailed to: The Rosa James Foundation for Education c/o Mrs. Sonia James Randle, 1719 Windmill Hill Lane Desoto Texas 75115. A Go Fund Me page to support The Rosa James Foundation has also been established for donations.


"Where there is no vision, the people perish."


Funeral Services was held at 10:00 A.M. on Thursday, August 6th at Second Baptist Church 3620 E 39th St, Kansas City, MO 64128. Visitation 6:00 P.M. to 8:00 P.M. on Wednesday, August 5th at Lawrence A. Jones & Sons Linwood Chapel. Interment Longview Cemetery.

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Rosa James, please visit our floral store.


Funeral Service
August 6, 2020

10:00 AM to 12:00 PM
Second Baptist Church
3620 E. 39th St.
Kansas City, MO 64128


Longview Memorial Gardens Cemetery
12700 SE Raytown Road
Kansas City, MO 64149

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