William Calvin Ijames

Published 12:42 pm Tuesday, July 17, 2018

William Calvin Ijames, 84, of Mocksville, died on Monday, July 16, at his Mocksville residence on Parker Road), surrounded by his wife and their two surviving children and their spouses.

Born May 16, 1934, to William Ivan and Marjorie (Turner) Ijames, he graduated from Davie County Training School in 1952, and soon developed a reputation for leadership, business, and humanitarian service in Davie County and beyond. As a young adult, he was part of a delegation of youth leaders invited to visit then President Truman at the White House; later he became president of the National Farmers of America (at local, state and national levels); and was known throughout the county for his social, civic and religious contributions.

After marrying his life-long companion, Vertie Mae (Coulter) in 1955, he worked for the US Army Finance Department, the IRS in Greensboro, owned and operated Mocksville Professional Services, successfully pursued entrepreneurial ventures, including sales, real estate, janitorial services, adult day care, and retired from Ingersoll-Rand where he served with distinction as a supervisor for more than 30 years. In addition to his career and business ventures, he found time to take up flying as a hobby, owned several airplanes, and maintained his private airstrip on the family farm near the Center community.

God blessed Calvin and Vertie’s union with three children: Jeff (Isabel of Michigan), deceased 1983, Steve (Rachel) of Mocksville, and Marjolene (Whaid) of Denver. Motivated by Jeff’s death to minister to bereaved parents, Calvin and Vertie became local leaders of The Compassionate Friends, and eventually served on the TCF National Board. He received numerous honors and awards throughout the years for community service, including the N.C. Governor’s Award, the Jefferson Award (WBTV), the E.C. Tatum Humanitarian Award, the Sertoma Service to Mankind Award, and was recognized (along with Vertie) for 15 years of volunteer service at Wake Forest University Baptist Hospital.

In his later years, Calvin earned advanced credentials from the American Association of Christian Counselors in order to be better equipped in his efforts to assist hurting people, and published a book, “Survival Tools for the Christian Journey,” as a resource for providing hope and encouragement.

Most important, he was a dedicated Christian who loved the Lord, and served as a lay leader for many years. He was raised and served in the Church of God Body of Christ (as a preacher’s kid), was a leader in the Church of God (Seventh Day) for more than three decades, and was blessed by the fellowship of the Statesville Seventh Day Adventist Church during his final years. He was driven in his pursuit of excellence and had a passionate desire to help those around him get it right regarding life, faith in God, and service to others. His life of integrity and influence can be summarized by this single Bible verse: “It is better to be respected than to be rich; a good name is better than money in the bank” (Proverbs 22:1, paraphrased).

Survivors: his wife of 63 years; 2 children and their spouses; 6 grandchildren, Vicki Ijames (Georgia), Becky Ijames Diffin (Jonathan) of Michigan, Paul Ijames (Emily) of Colorado, Reuben (Meagan) of Mocksville, Arvella Rose and Nathan Rose (Colorado); 9 great-grandchildren; an adopted sister (Minnie Scott); an uncle (John Lester Ijames); an aunt (Edna Mason Allen, 100); and a host of other relatives and friends.

A seventh grandchild, Matt Ijames (Liz), Jeff’s youngest child, preceded him  in death on June 26.

The funeral (open to the public) will be held at Davie Funeral Service in Mocksville, on Monday, July 23 at 2 p.m. followed by burial at the Clement Grove Church Cemetery.

Memorials: CareNet Counseling Center or Center Fire Department.