Dennis Scott James, 77, passed away March 15, 2022, at his home in Lakeland, FL, two weeks after being diagnosed with advanced cancer.

He was born to H.K. and Eva James in San Antonio, Texas on June 29, 1944. Dennis grew up in Wilson, N.C., where he met and married his childhood sweetheart Kaye Stallings in 1961. In 1962 their daughter Karen was born, and he graduated from Ralph L. Fike High School. Shortly thereafter, the young family relocated to Gahanna, Ohio to be closer to Dennis’ parents. In 1967, his second daughter Kathryn was born. After eight years juggling a job, a family, and attending school in the evenings, Dennis graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from Franklin University in 1971.

Dennis spent the majority of his career with Borden in Columbus, Ohio, in the corporate purchasing department and later in Florida as purchasing manager with the company’s Smith Douglas Division. After retiring in 2004, Dennis went to work at Lakeland Regional Health for Central Supply before retiring for good in 2015.

He enjoyed playing bridge in a couples’ group that spanned decades, and day trips to Tampa’s Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino, where Dennis was a formidable opponent at Three Card Poker and Criss Cross. Dennis and Kaye were long-time boosters of the Lakeland High School Dreadnaughts and attended football games during their girls’ high school years, where Dennis proudly rang the victory bell for many seasons. In addition to football, he was an avid sports watcher of golf and basketball. His greatest joy was his family who affectionately called him The Captain.

In addition to his parents, Dennis was preceded in death in 2015 by the love of his life and wife of 54 years, Kaye. He is survived by daughters Karen and Kathryn, son-in-law Jim; grandchildren, Alisha (Brandon), Taylor (David), Madeline, Harrison, Courtney, beloved great-grandson Bryce and a brother, Gary James (Kelly).

Per Dennis’ wishes, there will be no service. The family would like to thank his nurse Crystal and the staff of Good Shepherd Hospice, whose compassion and competence allowed Karen and Kathryn to care for their dad at home. Condolences may be sent to the family at Heath Funeral Chapel.

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