Trinity Village Homeowners Association remembered one of its first residents, Dorothy Jean James, with a special tribute. The close-knit community, comprised of about 15 families, dedicated a granite bench in James’ honor on Feb. 8, making good on a promise to keep her memory alive.
James passed away after a battle with cancer on Nov. 12, 2011. She was 68.
“About a year ago now, we decided that we wanted to honor, recognize and remember Mrs. James in a special way. We kept going back and forth about how we would do that, but then we decided on honoring her with a bench in her memory,” said HOA President Reginald Grimes. “Mrs. James has been here since the beginning and she has a special place in our hearts. She will always be a part of Trinity.”
Residents placed the memorial bench in greenspace at the center of the enclave of elegant homes, located off Evans Mill Road in unincorporated Lithonia.
The community is one where neighbors look out for one another and get together for fellowship.
“Everyone in the neighborhood knows each other here. We welcome all our neighbors with open arms,” said Grimes. “Fall festivals, bake sales, Christmas gatherings, some of us even go door-to-door with soups and salads, main courses, or desserts around the holidays just to spread the love.”
James, who was known by her family and friends as “Dot,” moved to Trinity Village in July 2002 with her husband, Isach. James was known to many as a vivacious and compassionate woman who was always volunteering in the neighborhood or at her church, East Lake United Methodist.
On several occasions, James would take the 30-minute drive on both, Saturdays and Sundays, from her neighborhood in unincorporated Lithonia, to the East Lake community to fill up her Ford Explorer with children to go to youth choir practice and worship services. At the Atlanta church, James served as a member of the usher board, United Methodist Council, children’s choir director, youth ministry director, and president of the church’s gospel choir.
Her husband of more than 50 years, Isach James, said the bench will represent a woman who would do anything for children.
“She always encouraged children in this community, Decatur, everywhere, to strive for excellence and to never give up. This is a thoughtful idea that will never be forgotten,” said Isach James, who attended the memorial bench ceremony with two of their three children. I really, really appreciate this.”
The couple had three children, Irwin, Ian and Iman James. Both, Ian and Iman, said they were very thankful to the HOA for honoring their mother.
“My mother was a nurturing mother and supportive wife. She was always willing to go above and beyond the call of duty,” said Iman James. “We thank this community for always looking out for my mother and this family.”
“If my mother was here today, I know she would want everyone here to know that Jesus is the greatest man that we should know and we should keep that in our hearts and continue to pray for each other day to day,” said Irwin James.
Pictured at top: Residents of Trinity Village joined the James family in lighting a red "candle of love" in honor of Dorothy Jean James on Feb. 8 in Lithonia.