Yvonne James

Obituary of Yvonne Ann Sparks James

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Yvonne Ann Sparks James (Leech), age 84, passed away peacefully on 9 September 2023, at Bethany Gardens, in Rome, NY, surrounded by family.

Yvonne was born in Morden, England on 29 January 1939, to the late Arthur S. and Ann E. Leech. She was a proud mother to five children; four children with Gilbert “Gibby” K. Smith and one child with Ernest N. Moyer, Jr. (preceded her in death on 10 September 2013). Although Yvonne and Gibby divorced in 1975, they both remarried and remained good friends until his passing on 22 May 2011. During her life, Yvonne worked for the U.S. Government as a Civilian employee, holding various positions within the U.S. Air Force and U.S. Army.

Yvonne retired in 2010 from Preventive Medicine, at Kirk U.S. Army Health Clinic, in Aberdeen Proving Ground, MD and received the Department of Defense’s Presidential Letter of Appreciation for 37 years of creditable service. Shortly after retirement, Yvonne returned to Rome, NY to be closer to her family. She enjoyed attending cookouts with family, exercising her mind with crossword puzzles, cooking for large gatherings, reading romance novels, and going out to lunch with friends.

Yvonne is survived by four children: Sharon (Lyle) Sorrell of Rome, Kathrynne (Gary) Draper of Lee Center, Michael (Denise Schon) Smith of Sylvan Beach, and Jerome (Ian Frederick) James-Smith of Canton, NY; her grandchildren: Michael Sorrell, Matthew Sorrell, Tracey Streiff, Ryan Sorrell, Robert Smith, Jr., Steven Smith, Kaelin Draper, Wendy Draper, and Trevor Draper; her great grandchildren: Ace, Kasey, Nethaniel, Hunter, Julia, Evelyn, Oaklee, Hannah, and Logan; several nieces and nephews in Morden, England; family and friends in Maryland, Texas, Kentucky, Pennsylvania, and her close friends: Gretchen James, Alberta Jones, Sunaina Singh, and Sheri Smith.

Yvonne’s eldest son, Robert D. Smith preceded her in death on 30 April 2011; and her brother, Anthony Leech, of England, also preceded her in death in July 2022.

The Family wishes to extend a special thank you to the Nursing Aides and Nurses at Bethany Gardens for their compassion, support, and care given to their Mumsy!

A Celebration of Life will be held in early-Spring 2024!

Arrangements are entrusted to the Barry Funeral Home, 807 W. Chestnut Street.


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Yvonne James

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Yvonne James

1939 - 2023

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