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In Memoriam: George James

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George James, professor emeritus of art, died Sunday, March 5, after a prolonged battle with cancer. He was 84.

James spent two years in the U.S. Army and seven as a high school teacher before joining Cal State Fullerton in 1968, serving 29 years. During his tenure, he developed the undergraduate and graduate illustration concentration programs and served as area coordinator until his appointment as department chair in 1980. Building on the illustration program’s traditional foundation, James led the way with the introduction of digital technology as a creative medium.

Following retirement, he regularly exhibited his paintings nationally and internationally, winning multiple awards from the National Watercolor Society and other organizations. Several books, articles and videos are dedicated to his art.

James is survived by Isabel, his wife of 57 years; daughter Anne James, Cal State Fullerton associate professor of theatre and dance, and her husband, Michael Polak; son Joe James and his wife, Shannon; grandchildren Emily, Sam and Thomas; and brother Leonard James and sister-in-law Connie.  

A memorial service celebrating his life will be held at 4 p.m. Sunday, April 10, at Orange Coast College’s Horticulture Gardens in Costa Mesa. A reception on the grounds will immediately follow the service. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to:

George James Scholarship Fund
Att: Gail Dawson
College of the Arts
Cal State Fullerton, 800 N. State College Blvd., Fullerton 92834

Additional information is available by calling 657-278-3471.