AKA –“The man, the myth, the legend” “The joke master” “The turtle whisperer” and “The kitchen magician”, but the title he was most proud of was Dad to Lindsay and Sarah James.
Mike was taken from us way too soon, in the early morning hours, as a result of injuries sustained in a hit and run accident, while on his way to his 2nd favorite place to be, the morning cook at Skins and Bubbas Restaurant in Chipley Fl.
He is survived by the loves of his life, and his memory will forever be cherished by: Lindsay James (Cris) and family of Rio Rancho, New Mexico, Sarah James and family of Pampa, Texas, Jill Chambers (Wayne) and family of Fort Myers, Florida, his mother Kaye James of Chipley, Florida, his twin brother John of Naples, FL, and his sister Barbara Cutting, her husband Henry and Henry’s family, of Chipley, FL, several grandchildren, and nieces and nephews who will miss him also.
Michael and his twin brother John were born March 03,1965, to Herbert and Katherine James, in Lincoln, Nebraska, where Herb was stationed while serving in the USAF. Mike went a lot of places and met a lot of people; he could strike up a conversation with anyone, anywhere, and frequently did. “There are no strangers, just friends we haven’t met yet.”
Mike started his culinary career at the age of 17, as a line cook for The Village Inn Restaurant in St. Petersburg, FL, where he was able to work his way up to being the kitchen manager, and the lead trainer for the Southern Florida Region. Eventually he relocated to Naples, FL, where he worked at Bad Boy’s Restaurant. The owner was so impressed by Mike that when he sold the restaurant and moved to Tennessee he took Mike with him, where Mike ran the Harvest Table Restaurant for a couple of years, then took a job as kitchen manager at Shoney’s, which led to him being able to transfer when he wanted to be closer to family again. He loaded the girls up and moved to San Marcos, TX, where he was offered the well deserved opportunity to become the Executive Chef at The Quail Creek Country Club. From there he went on to become the Executive Chef at the Angel Fire Ski Resort in New Mexico, until health issues forced him into early retirement unfortunately. He relocated one last time to Sunny Hills, FL, and grew to love it as the area provided everything he loved to do.
Mike loved all things Harley Davidson, and in his free time could usually be found with the family he formed at the American Legion. He was happiest when he was on his Harley getting some wind therapy, or on his boat or the beach with a fishing rod in his hand. Mike loved his family, his friends, fishing, camping, his Harleys, his politics, his Dallas Cowboys, and any and all animals. He could sit and have a conversation about any of them, as long as you agreed on his point of view!
He was preceded in death by his father Herb James, and by his older brother Brian James.
There will be a celebration of life held on Sunday, March 28,2021 at the American Legion Post #375 located at 12507 Highway 77 Southport, FL, beginning at 1:00 pm. All friends and family invited. There will be a bikers escort provided by his American Legion brothers and sisters. Everyone is welcome to attend or join in; starting point is going to be the park and ride located at Highway 77 and Highway 20. The family asks that you be there no later than 12:30. Obert Funeral Home of Chipley, Florida in charge of arrangements.