Louise A. James

Willig Funeral Home & Crematory

Obituaries | The Tube City Almanac | July 22, 2021

Louise A. James, age 86, of McKeesport, died peacefully on Sunday, July 18, 2021, at Jefferson Hospital. Born November 11, 1934, in McKeesport, she was the daughter of the late Clyde and Anna (Galbach) Lemak Loy and the wife of the late Harry J. James for 32 years.

Louise enjoyed working at several jobs over the years; she was a cook for the McKeesport Area School District, baker for Zotter's Bakery, and certified nursing aid at Glenshire Woods and Oakmont. Louise lived life on her own terms. She enjoyed sewing clothes for her family, knitting, and crocheting. Louise was frugal and fiscally responsible yet charitable, budgeting to make small monthly donations to many organizations. She fed the homeless on holidays and helped anyone in need. She loved to read and watch movies with air popped popcorn.

From childhood to adulthood, she played the piano and organ and ensured her children learned as well. She was an avid walker and would typically walk over 10,000 steps a day. Louise was an entrepreneur and a pioneer for her time. She had such a big heart and was truly beautiful inside and out.

She is survived by her children, Helene (George) Cooke, Denise Hall, Nadine (Jay) Penwell, and Harry A. James; grandchildren, Helene, Sherrin, Abigail (Josh), Kristi Jo, Harry Jr., Daniel, Veronica, Justin, Jessica (Paul), and Chelsey; great-grandchildren, Brandon, Conner, Andrew, Britney, Tim, Wolfie, Angela, Saffron, Zion, Evie, Justin Jr., Dominic, Haylee, and Jordan; great-great-grandchildren, Spike and two on the way; brother, Robert W. Loy;  as well as many nieces, nephews, and cousins.

In addition to her parents and husband, she was preceded in death by her son Robert J. James and great-grandson Gavin Thompson.

A private graveside service was held at Fairview Cemetery.

Condolences and memories may be shared at

Memorial contributions are suggested to the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank at
Supervisor, Charles Danforth

Originally published July 22, 2021.

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