Mechanic 03

Willie Joe James

May 4, 1928 ~ February 18, 2021 (age 92)


Willie Joe James, 92, of Cooper, passed away peacefully on February 18, 2021. He was surrounded by his loving family.

Willie Joe lived a long and wonderful life. He was lovingly known by his family as Daddy Pop. He was born in Houston, May 4,1928, and soon moved to Delta County where he grew up in Klondike. Willie Joe was the son of Printess James and Bernice (Moore) James.

Willie Joe and Virgie Mae Cockrum were married on September 23, 1946 in Cooper. This was the beginning of a beautiful 70 year marriage that was strong in faith, love and happiness. He was a devoted husband, father, grandfather, great grandfather and brother.

Willie Joe entered the United States Army/Airforce in 1946 and served to the end of the war. He served in the ground crew that kept our planes flying. He was stationed in the South Pacific and was also part of the battalion that helped clean up the devastation of the atomic bomb in Hiroshima Japan.

Willie Joe worked for Rockwell International in Sulphur Springs as a general manager for over 30 years. He was an excellent mechanic, loved working on cars and could fix anything.

He also served as Post Commander of the American Legion in Cooper for several years.

Willie Joe and Virgie enjoyed raising Brahman cattle, one of which was shown by son David and awarded Reserve Grand Champion at the Houston Livestock show in 1979.

Willie Joe was a faithful member of the First United Methodist Church where he and Virgie served on numerous committees and loved supporting their church.


Willie Joe and Virgie enjoyed many vacations together, making wonderful memories along the way. They visited every state in the U.S. except Alaska.

Willie Joe is survived by his three children; Charlotte Fryhover and her husband Tom of Prosper, Rickey Joe James and wife Jane of Hurst and David James and wife Sandy of Melissa. Also, 8 grandchildren, 24 great­grandchildren and one sister, Rosa Lee Gregory of Holliday.

He was preceded in death by his loving wife, Virgie, his parents, and two sisters, Frances Louise Wilson of Centerville and Melvanda Smith of

Sulphur Springs.

Funeral services are scheduled for 2:00 pm Tuesday February 23, 2021 at     the Delta Funeral Home Chapel with Pastor Dean Eudy officiating. Interment will  follow at the Peerless Cemetery. 

Serving as pallbears are Jeff Fryhover, David James Jr., Rick James, Michael James, Mason Fryhover, David Denton, Cole Carroll, Tim Carroll and Alford Echols.

Family will greet friends one hour prior to the service.  Family asks that you please wear your mask and observe social distancing.

In lieu of flowers, please send donations in memory of Willie Joe and Virgie James. to Peerless Cemetery C/O David James Jr. 5468 County Rd. 4744, Sulphur Springs, TX 75482.

You may pay your respects online at

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Willie Joe James, please visit our floral store.


February 23, 2021

1:00 PM to 2:00 PM
Delta Funeral Home
451 Southwest First Street
Cooper, TX 75432

Funeral Service
February 23, 2021

2:00 PM
Delta Funeral Home
451 Southwest First Street
Cooper, TX 75432

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