James “Jim” Earl Bartley (Papa Jim) 71 of Lakeland, Florida passed away peacefully at home on September 23, 2021. James was born February 18, 1950 in Evansville, Indiana to Hansford “Hank” and Leatrice Bartley, who preceded him in death; as well as his Sister Alice, Brother Hansford “Alton” and Grandparents who helped raise him Roscoe Herman and Elizabeth Bartley.
He graduated from Chino High School in Chino, California; he enlisted in the United States Army April 11, 1968 and served as a Combat Medic for 20 years. He was stationed all over, places like Vietnam, Germany (twice) where he graduated College; Honolulu, Hawaii; Fort Knox, Kentucky; Fort Polk, Louisiana and finally retiring in 1988 as a Sergeant in Fort Gordon, Georgia.
He is survived by his love of 21 years Gail L Perez of Lakeland, Florida. 3 children, 2 Bonus-children and a granddaughter he helped Gail raise and their children. Son-David (Velma) Bartley of Texas, Son- Danniel Bartley of Tallahassee, Florida. Daughter- Tabitha Bartley of Tennessee; Bonus-Daughter Caroline (Harvey) Burdeshaw of Winter Haven, Florida; Bonus-Son Richard (Ruth) Boseke of Lakeland, Florida, and Granddaughter Tabitha (Fidencio)Trevino of Goshen, New York.
11 Grandchildren; Ada, Roma & Logan (David); Gabriel, Patrick (wife Lauren), Alvin & Diana (Danniel); Rachel & Natalie (Tabitha B); Alex (wife Kisha) & Scarlett (Caroline), 6 Great-Grandchildren; Sophie & Silas (Patrick); Destiny,Chloe,Ma’Kynzee & Kylie (Tabitha T), 2 Siblings LaJunta (Dale) & William “Bill” (Ann) both of Nevada. 2 Aunts both residing in his hometown of Evansville, Indiana; Wanda (Gerald) & Mary Payne. Also, Nieces, Nephews and many others who called him Papa Jim.
He enjoyed watching Charmed on Netflix, Eating Frog legs at his favorite place Lake Alfred Diner and taking rides to the local lakes with Gail to look for alligators, he loved spending time with family and helping others.
Cremation and arrangements will be held through Heath Funeral Chapel of Lakeland, Florida; there will be no visitation and Military services will be held at Florida National Cemetery located at 6502 Sw 102nd Ave Bushnell, Florida 33513 on Friday, October 8th, 2021, at 10 a.m.. Condolences may be sent to the family at Heath Funeral Chapel.