Cover photo for Lita Jean James's Obituary
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1935 Lita 2023

Lita Jean James

December 16, 1935 — April 25, 2023

Indianapolis, Indiana

Lita Jean (Wilson) James of Indianapolis went to be with her Lord and Savior Jesus Christ on April 25, 2023, at the age of 87. Born in Bath, Maine, to John and Eva Wilson, she married her beloved husband, the late Charles James, in 1956. She and Charlie were the loving parents of three children, the late Christopher James, the late Sabin
Sullivan, and Heather Quilhot. Additional survivors are Mort Sullivan and John Quilhot, and her grandchildren Chris and Harry Sullivan and Betsy, Grant, Amanda and Sam Quilhot. Other survivors include nieces, nephews, and grandnieces and grandnephews. Lita was preceded in death by her parents, as well as her sister-in-law Virginia Barnett, nephew Bradford Barnett and grandnephew CJ Barnett.

After marrying and transplanting to Bloomington, Indiana, Lita worked to support her family, which at this time consisted of Charlie, Lita, and their first Boxer, Major. As Charlie finished his education at Indiana University and then moved to the IU School of Medicine, Lita’s love of all things IU, including Bobby Knight, grew to hysteric proportions. Her children and grandchildren all experienced moments of Lita enthusiastically cheering on her Hoosiers.

With the birth of her first child, Sabin, in 1963, Lita became a devoted stay at home mother. Her daughter Heather was born in 1969, and her son Chris was born in 1970. She spent years carpooling her three children and their friends to and from school, athletic and social events, scout meetings, and other activities, while also becoming an active volunteer at The Orchard School. She made life-long friends during this time who were still traveling to see one another at least once a year including as recently as last month.

Once her children were a bit older, Lita began sharing her time and talent with Charlie, managing his family medical practice. She kept things running smoothly so that he could serve his patients. They made a great team and enjoyed the many friendships which developed over the years.

Although Lita became a true Hoosier after marrying Charlie, her Maine roots ran deep. Having grown up around the ocean and boats, she never stopped enjoying time near the water, whether at her lakeside home in Brownsburg, the Gulf beaches of Sanibel Island, the waters of the Pacific Northwest, the rivers of the United States, or her frequent travels to Boothbay Harbor, Maine.

In addition to her family, Lita had many loves in her life which included numerous dogs (especially boxers), Indianapolis Motor Speedway events (especially watching AJ Foyt race), traveling, enjoying good food and drink (especially lobster and wild blueberries from Maine, and a good gin and tonic), playing Fast Track (and almost always beating her grandchildren), practical jokes (both receiving and playing), the rare cigar, her Mustang convertible, bird watching, hosting guests in her home, and any activity enjoyed with family and friends.

Lita’s pride and joy for the last 25 years was her 6 grandchildren. They were the light of her life. She attended numerous grandparents’ days at school, rugby games, football games, volleyball games, soccer games, musical and theater performances and graduations and played too many hands of Euchre to count.

Although Lita saw more heartbreak in her life than anyone deserves, she was always ready with a smile and a joke. She was loved by her family and all who had the privilege of knowing her. If you met Lita one time, she was your friend. She will be remembered for her quick wit and her zest for life. She is at peace and enjoying eternity with Charlie, Sabin, Chris and the many other loved ones who have gone before her.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Indiana United Methodist Children’s Home ( or IU Health Foundation/IU Health North/Schwarz Cancer Center Fund (

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Lita Jean James, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services


Thursday, January 1, 1970

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Tuesday, May 2, 2023

9:00 - 10:00am (Eastern time)

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Funeral Service

Tuesday, May 2, 2023

10:00 - 10:00am (Eastern time)

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