Cover photo for Virgil James's Obituary
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1928 Virgil 2023

Virgil James

July 20, 1928 — April 6, 2023

White Deer

Virgil James, 94, of White Deer, passed away on Thursday, April 6, 2023 in Pampa.

Services will be 10:00 AM Tuesday, April 11, 2023 at First Baptist Church of White Deer with Brother Alan Wilson, pastor, officiating.  Burial will follow in Memory Gardens Cemetery under the direction of Carmichael-Whatley Funeral Directors and Crematory.

Virgil was born July 20, 1928 in Iowa Park to J.C. and Juanita James. He attended Plainview High School until the eleventh grade, when he enlisted in the U.S. Navy. He served from 1945 and was discharged in 1947 as 1st Class Seaman. On September 8, 1949 he married the love of his life, Arvella Gatlin. They were married in Clayton, New Mexico and have celebrated their 73rd wedding anniversary. Virgil began working for Natural Gas Pipeline in 1950 and retired in 1986. Virgil and Arvella made their home in White Deer in 1967 and rooted in the community. Over the years he served on the city council and served as Mayor. He was a longtime member of the First Baptist Church of White Deer where he was a Training Union teacher and Sunday School teacher. When his boys were young, he coached little league baseball for many years and enjoyed fishing with his brothers, and did woodworking projects when he had time. 

Virgil had a servant’s heart as he loved to help and serve others. He was a longtime member of the Lions Club where he served district 2-T1 as Lt. Governor, District Governor, Lions Camp Director, and he served on the Lions Eye Bank board. Virgil spent many hours doing glaucoma testing all over the panhandle. Virgil was also a Mason and a Shriner. He also was a volunteer at Pampa Regional Medical Center for over 30 years, during that time we served a term as auxiliary president. Virgil loved his community and was an avid supporter of White Deer athletics and was a Dallas Cowboy fan. He loved his family fiercely and will be dearly missed.

Virgil was preceded in death by his parents; brothers and sisters-in-law, Doyle and Joyce James, Delores James, Francis James, Bill James, Juanita Rich, Myron Gibson, Johnny West, Henry Fletcher, and Reggie Howard.

Survivors include his wife, Arvella; two sons, Larry James and Gary James and wife Sharon; grandchildren, Nonnie Peters and husband Jacob; great grandchildren, Macy and Tuff.; brothers and sisters-in-law, Winford James, Yvonne Howard, Ramona Fletcher, Judy Gibson, Joyce West, Jerry Gatlin, Herb Gatlin, and Earl Rich.

Memorials can be sent to Lions Eye Bank of District 2-T1, P O Box 19293 Amarillo, Texas 79105.

The family will receive friends at the funeral home on Monday, April 10, 2023 from 6:00 PM to 7:30 PM.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Virgil James, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services


Monday, April 10, 2023

6:00 - 7:30 pm (Central time)

Carmichael - Whatley Funeral Directors and Crematory

600 N Ward St, Pampa, TX 79065

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Funeral Service

Tuesday, April 11, 2023

Starts at 10:00 am (Central time)

First Baptist Church of White Deer

411 S Omohundro St, White Deer, TX 79097

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


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