Ronald James


Ronald J. James, 63, of Franklin, passed away Monday, Dec. 22, 2014, at his residence surrounded by his loving family.

He was born Aug. 22, 1951, in Brazil to Bernard and Martha J. (Gainey) James. He married Jean A. (Keller) James on March 29, 1991, in Rockville; and she survives. He was a 1969 graduate of Rockville High School and attended Indiana State University in Terre Haute. He was an auto appraiser for Farm Bureau Insurance for 38 years, serving 26 years in Parke County and 12 years in Evansville.

He also was an IHSAA basketball referee for 40 years and an IHSAA football referee for 35 years, having been part of one state championship game. He also was part of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, serving as commander for pits and garage security for 40 years.

He was a member of the Old-Timers Club of the Indianapolis 500. He also was a member of the Indianapolis Officials Association, Wabash Valley Officials Association, Southern Officials Association and Knightsville Masonic Lodge in Clay County.

Survivors include his wife, Jean A. (Keller) James of Franklin; his mother, Martha J. (Gainey) James of Brazil; two sons, Mark J. Jones (Kelli) and Bradley D. Jones (Missy), both of Franklin; five grandchildren, Brice Jones (Saffron) of Indianapolis, and Devin Jones (Courtney), Logan Jones (Anthony), Trey Jones and Tyler Jones, all of Franklin; and one great-grandchild, Landon Jones.

He was preceded in death by his father.

The Rev. Larry McAdams will conduct a memorial service at 2:30 p.m. Saturday at Swartz Family Community Mortuary and Memorial Center, 300 S. Morton St. (U.S. 31 South) in Franklin. The family will receive friends from noon until service time Saturday at the mortuary.

The family request memorial contributions be made to the American Cancer Society, 5635 W. 96th St., Suite 100, Indianapolis, IN 46278.

Online condolences may be sent to the family at

Information: 738-0202