We are deeply sorry for your loss - the staff at Escude Funeral Home
Funeral Mass for Matthew Leonard James, Sr. of Mansura will begin at 11:00am on Saturday, August 27, 2022 at Our Lady of Prompt Succor Catholic Church in Mansura with Fr. Irion St. Romain officiating. Burial & military honors will follow at St. Paul Cemetery.
Matthew was born on July 22, 1925 to Octavia Babino and Julian James. He received his wings on Sunday, August 21, 2022. Matthew Leonard James, Sr. was a warm, loving, and caring father, grandfather, uncle, and friend. Leonard (as he is affectionately known to many) was a man who loved his family, loved his children and his friends.
At a very young age, Leonard decided to enlist in the United States Navy. He travelled to Great Lakes, Illinois for basic training. He was one of only thirteen in his all-black company to become a seaman. From his training in Illinois, he was sent to Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. He served his entire Navy career in Hawaii before returning home and going to school to become a bricklayer, the profession he grew to love and perfect. Leonard not only worked in his craft to support his family but also his community such as in helping in the construction of the building we know as the Uganda Center in Mansura. That building still stands today and is a testament to the hard work and dedication of Leonard and many of his friends!
There was another passion that Leonard shared with his friends – baseball. The passion for baseball and softball that he shared with his friends, the Mansura Hawks, translated into weekend softball tournaments all over Avoyelles Parish. Many people grew to know him and love him through his love for baseball.
Leonard was united in matrimony to Rachel Boston on June 19, 1946. This union was blessed with 7 children. He is survived by: Gregory James (Pat) of Orange, CA; Agatha Jones (Sammie) of Marrero, LA; Marsha Bishop (Curlee) of Sacramento, CA; Matthew James, Jr. (Lynn) of Kenner, LA; Julian James (Paulette) of Avondale, LA; Bartel James (Kathy) of Round Rock, TX; and Lydia Harris (Mark) of Raleigh, NC. Rachel and her children will continue to carry on dear memories and special moments with Leonard.
Leonard is also survived by daughters, Donna Sampson (James) and Taleisha James; sons, Ivan Oliney, Teven Reid, Matt Reid, and LaDarius Duskin; great friends, Tony St. Romain and LeDell James, Julia Boston, sister-in-law, Priscilla Clark; and special niece, Vernell Smith.
Leonard leaves to cherish his memory a host of grandchildren, great-grandchildren, great-great grandchildren, nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Octavia & Julian; his brothers, Alvin James, Joseph (Pepper) James, & Spellman James; his sisters, Bertha Francois, Verdie Francisco, Letha Batiste, Jeanita Francois, & Hilda Parker.
Visitation will begin at 8:00am until 10:45am on Saturday, August 27, 2022 at Escude Funeral Home in Mansura.
Funeral arrangements have been entrusted to Escude Funeral Home (318-964-2324) 6608 Porterie St. Mansura, LA 71350.