Obituary of Velma Edith James
Velma Nixon Miller James, age 98, devoted wife, mother and grandmother, died January 6, 2024.
Velma was born November 19, 1925 on a farm near Rushville, Indiana. She was a graduate of Harrison College (formerly Indiana Business College), Indianapolis, Indiana. While attending college, she lived with a family, caring for their new baby and doing housework for her room and board. She literally became a member of the family and lifelong friend.
She began her career with the U.S. Treasury Department in Indianapolis. Shortly thereafter, she moved to Georgia with her husband Robert Miller, where their children, Robert Lee and Alice Miller were born.
After a few years in Georgia, she moved with her family to Mineral Wells, TX in 1956. This move began her secretary/accounting career again as Secretary to the Director of Personnel for Southern Airways, Secretary to the Post Engineer, Protocol Clerk for the Commander of Fort Wolters, and lastly, Budget Analyst for the U.S. Army Helicopter School.
Upon the base closure of Ft. Wolters in 1973, Velma transferred to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Fort Worth, TX continuing as a Budget & Management Analyst until her retirement in 1986. She commuted to Fort Worth until her marriage to Bob James on July 27, 1979.
During her years in Mineral Wells, Velma was a member of the National Secretaries Association and held all the offices of the local chapter. Mrs. James was the first in her chapter to achieve the rating of Certified Professional Secretary.
Mrs. James was a long standing member of First Christian Church, Mineral Wells, where she taught kindergarten-age classes for many years. She eventually became a member of First Presbyterian Church of Fort Worth. She found her calling through weekly volunteer work at Presbyterian Crossroads ministry—meeting with and helping feed the needy. This was the most rewarding time she ever spent! She loved her Crossroads friends dearly.
Velma’s interests included writing and publishing daily diaries of her extensive 43 years of travel to Europe, New Zealand, Australia, South America, Canada, numerous Caribbean Islands, and all U.S. states except 4. (These interests “required” 50 albums of photographs with descriptions!) She also enjoyed gourmet cooking, genealogy, and spending time with grandchildren and great-grandchildren. She and Bob especially enjoyed exposing their grandchildren to travel adventures including first flights and trips away from home.
Velma was insistent that family gathering continued every year. She gained the titles of Matriarch , Kin-keeper, and even the Glue. Every holiday was a special event and time to gather at Grandma and Grandpa’s house!
Velma was a dear lady whom will be missed my many.
She was preceded in death by husband Robert James in 2023; son, Robert Lee Miller in 1976; daughter, Alice Miller Riley in 2010; and step-son, David James in 2021. Also preceding her in death were her parents, Mr. & Mrs. Luther Nixon of Rushville IN; brothers, James Nixon, Raleigh, IN and Ralph Nixon, Connersville, IN; sisters, Ellen Meyer of Cincinnati, OH, Edna Lower of Rushville, IN, and Robert Miller, the father of her children.
Velma is survived by brother Howard Nixon of Indianapolis, IN; several nieces, nephews; sons and their wives Gary and Judy James of Corinth, Jimmy and Jeannine James of Perrin, daughter-in-law Monica James of Fort Worth. Also surviving are eight grandchildren, eighteen great-grandchildren and eight great-great-grandchildren.
In lieu of flowers, please contribute to the Guiding Eye Dogs for the Blind; Light House for the Blind; or Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation or your favorite charity.
A small memorial service will be held at First Presbyterian Church of Fort Worth where Mrs. James’s cremains will be interned in a niche in the columbarium on a date TBD.