Gladys Mary Grant James, 99

Gladys Mary Grant James, 99, passed away on Christmas Day 2019, in the care of her loving family. She was born on April 24, 1920, to the late Rev. Stanley Grant and Florence Howell Grant in Rehoboth Beach, Del.

She was an incredibly optimistic woman who co-founded, with her husband, Ronald, (who passed away in 1985), the James Funeral Home, against incredible odds. They started in 1943 with wartime rationing and difficult days, yet succeeded in building a successful business that continues today after merging with Watson Funeral Home in 1970. She also was a sales representative for Lloyd Memorials.

James was a member of the Indian River Senior Center and participated in the bowling league for more than 35 years. She was also a member of the Dagsboro Church of God.

Her message for young people was, “This is America, where there is opportunity. If you stick to it, with hard work you can achieve your dream.”

In addition to her husband and parents, James was preceded in death by her beloved daughter Fay Donna, in 1948; six siblings; and a grandson, Jamie Kollock, in 2015. She is survived by her daughter Connie J. Kollock and her husband, Joseph, of Millsboro, Del.; her “foreign exchange daughter,” Hannelore Metzer; a grandson, Joseph Kollock III; six great-grandchildren; and four great-great-grandchildren. The family expressed gratitude for the wonderful care given by Pat Hickman, Delphine Blake and Allie Kollock.

A funeral service and celebration of life were to be held Dec. 28, 2019, at Watson Funeral Home, Millsboro, Del., officiated by the Rev. Alan Geijack. Interment was to be held privately on Dec. 29, 2019, at Mariner’s Bethel U.M. Church Cemetery in Ocean View, Del. Condolences may be sent online at