James Willie McRae was born in Broxton, Georgia on June 19, 1943 to his parents James E. and Irene Watts-McRae. He was raised in Buffalo, New York. He was affectionately known as “Big Daddy” to family and the community. Both of his parents preceded him in death along with two sisters Mary L. Jackson and Patricia A. Tyes. On May 25, 2020, James was reunited with gone on loved ones.
James married Leila M. McRae on May 13, 1967. At the time of his passing, the couple had shared 53 years together. They were blessed with 3 children: Cheryl D. McRae-McKinley, Marietta, GA, James W. McRae, Jr. (Blanca), Washington D.C. and Aribell A. McRae- Spencer (Scottie), Powder Springs, GA.
James W. McRae, Sr. served his country for 30 years. He did 3 tours in Vietnam where he received the Purple Heart Award. In an act of selflessness, which he was known for, he graciously declined to keep the Purple Heart and gave it to one of his fallen comrades. He was always available for the United States Marine Corps.
As time passed, James was called to be in leadership at church. He graciously accepted the call to become a Deacon at the Providence Community Baptist Church in Marietta, Georgia. He served there faithfully and sang on the Male Chorus until his health declined. He then worshipped with his wife at Connection Pointe Church of God. His life was his legacy. He lived it.
James is survived by one sister, Jean Brown of Marietta, GA, 7 grandchildren; Charles L. McKinley Jr., Leila C. McKinleyPetty(Chris), Chaun X. McKinley, Sr.(Asha), Wesley J. Spencer, Cameron J. Spencer, Esteban Justiniano, Mathew McRae and 3 great grandchildren; Sydney L. Petty, Jackson C. Petty, and Chaun X. McKinley Jr. He also leaves a host of nieces, nephews, and cousins.
The family will welcome guests for the viewing/ visitation on Wednesday, June 3, 2020 for 9:00 AM - 10:00 AM at Greener Pastures Funeral Home, 4405 Marietta St. Powder Springs, GA 30127.
The funeral services will follow immediately afterwards on Wednesday, June 3, 2020 for 10:00 AM at Greener Pastures Funeral Home, 4405 Marietta St., Powder Springs, GA 30127.
The internment will be held at Georgia National Cemetery on Wednesday, June 3, 2020 after the service.
To the entire McRae Family, we at Greener Pastures Funeral Home, offer to each of you our most sincere and heartfelt sympathies and condolences. Our prayers remain that your abiding faith in God will continue to comfort, to strengthen and sustain you during your time of bereavement.
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