William Calvin Ijames
William Calvin Ijames, 84, passed away July 16 at his Mocksville, North Carolina residence, surrounded by his wife and their two surviving children and their spouses.
Born May 16, 1934, to William Ivan and Marjorie (Turner) Ijames, Calvin graduated from Davie County Training School in 1952, and soon developed a reputation for leadership, business, and humanitarian service in Davie County and beyond. As a young adult, he was part of a delegation of youth leaders invited to visit then President Truman at the White House. Later he became president of the National Farmers of America (at local, state, and national levels) and was widely known throughout the county for his social, civic, and religious contributions.
After marrying Vertie Mae (Coulter) in 1955, Calvin worked for the US Army Finance Department and Internal Revenue Service in Greensboro. He owned and operated Mocksville Professional Services and successfully pursued various entrepreneurial ventures, including sales, real estate, janitorial services, and adult day care. Calvin retired from Ingersoll-Rand, where he served with distinction as a supervisor for more than 30 years.
In addition to his career and business ventures, Calvin found time to take up flying as a hobby. He owned several airplanes and maintained his private airstrip on the family farm near the Center Community.
God blessed Calvin and Vertie with three children: Jeff (Isabel), deceased 1983; Steve (Rachel); and Marjolene (Whaid). Motivated by Jeff’s death to minister to bereaved parents, Calvin and his wife became local leaders of The Compassionate Friends (TCF) and eventually served on the TCF national board. Calvin received numerous honors and awards throughout the years for community service, including the North Carolina Governor’s Award, Jefferson Award (WBTV), E. C. Tatum Humanitarian Award, and Sertoma Service to Mankind Award. He and Vertie were also recognized for their 15 years of volunteer service at Wake Forest University Baptist Hospital.
In his later years, Calvin earned advanced credentials from the American Association of Christian Counselors to help him better assist hurting people. He published a book, Survival Tools for the Christian Journey, to provide hope and encouragement.
Most important, Calvin was a dedicated Christian who loved the Lord, and he served as a lay leader for many years. He was raised and served in the Church of God (as a preacher’s kid), was a leader in the Church of God (Seventh Day) for more than three decades, and was blessed by the wonderful fellowship of the Statesville Seventh Day Adventist Church during his final years. He was driven in his pursuit of excellence and had a passionate desire to help those around him “get it right” regarding life, faith in God, and service to others. His life of integrity and influence can be summarized by this single Bible verse: “It is better to be respected than to be rich; a good name is better than money in the bank” (Proverbs 22:1, paraphrased).
Calvin is survived by his wife of 63 years, two children and their spouses, six grandchildren: Vicki Ijames (Georgia), Becky Ijames Diffin (Jonathan) of Michigan, Paul Ijames (Emily) of Colorado, Reuben (Meagan) of Mocksville, Arvella and Nathan Rose (Colorado), and nine great-grandchildren. A seventh grandchild, Matt Ijames (Liz), Jeff’s youngest child, recently preceded him in death (June 26, 2018). Calvin is also survived by an adopted sister (Minnie Scott), an uncle (John Lester Ijames), an aunt (Edna Mason Allen, age 100), and a host of other relatives and friends.