James, William (Bill) Francis passed away peacefully on Saturday morning, Dec. 7, 2019. Bill was born in St. Louis on Sept. 23, 1940, to Evelyn Marian (Zimmermann) and Harry Marshall James. He graduated from Southwest High School and the University of Missouri, Columbia, where he earned his undergraduate and law degrees. As a partner in the law firm of Wuestling & James, Bill was a defense trial lawyer who represented individuals and companies in civil lawsuits.
Bill was a member of the Missouri Bar Association for 55 years and also a member of the Bar Association of Metropolitan St. Louis and the American Bar Association. In 1969, Bill distinguished himself in the legal community early in his career by receiving the Lon Hocker Award, which is given to a Missouri lawyer under the age of forty (40) who “exemplifies the qualities of a trial lawyer, including professionalism and high ethical conduct.” In 2003, Bill began serving as a mediator with USA&M in St. Louis and in 2006, he was named to the list of Super Lawyers as one of the top 5% of lawyers in Missouri.
Despite his success and respect as a lawyer, Bill’s first priority was his family. Traveling the world with his wife, fishing with his children and grandchildren, and gathering for meals with extended family were all the ways he savored life. Bill was a member of the Webster Groves Presbyterian Church for 51 years, where he served as an elder, deacon, and trustee.
Bill is survived by his wife of 57 years, Barbara Karen (Quentin); children Teresa Wright, Merritt (Brad) Lingle, Rebecca James, Christopher (Jennifer) James; grandchildren Jordan Lingle, Melissa Wright, Sophie Lingle, William James, Grace James, and Harrison Lingle; great-grandchildren Elijah Huynh, Oliver Huynh, and Evelyn Gottman; sister Carol James; and many nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends. He was preceded in death by his parents, Evelyn (Zimmermann) and Harry James, and his brother, Thomas James.
A memorial service, followed by a reception, will be held at 2 p.m. on Jan. 4, 2020, at the Webster Groves Presbyterian Church. Memorial gifts may be made to the Webster Groves Presbyterian Church, 45 W. Lockwood Ave, Webster Groves, MO, 63119 (www.wgpc.org;) or the Center for Animal Rescue & Enrichment of St. Louis (a no-kill animal shelter), 2700 Walnut Place, St. Louis, MO 63103 (www.icarestl.org.)