Official Obituary of

Odessie Ruth James

November 27, 1932 ~ March 30, 2024 (age 91) 91 Years Old

Odessie James Obituary

Odessie Ruth Champion James “Sista” was born on November 27, 1932, in Camden, South Carolina, to the late Lewis Sr. and Lizzie Duren Champion, amidst a family of thirteen siblings. She found solace and joy in the close-knit bond she shared with her siblings and her family, a bond that transcended distance and time.

Growing up in the South, she spent much of her childhood working on her family's farm and assisting her mother with household chores. Her early acceptance of Jesus Christ laid the foundation for a life filled with unwavering devotion and steadfast faith. She embodied the essence of love and compassion, treating every soul she encountered with kindness and respect, regardless of stature or circumstance. She truly lived by the most important commandment to love your neighbor as yourself.

During the Great Migration she moved to Stamford, Connecticut seeking better employment opportunities to support her family. After settling in Connecticut, she held many jobs during Bridgeport’s Industrial era. After retiring, Sista devoted herself to volunteering at her church home Messiah Baptist in Bridgeport, where she coordinated the food and catering for bereavement services, song on the choir, was apart of the missionary group and women in prayer . Despite not driving, she was punctual and resourceful in fulfilling her responsibilities. Her meticulous attention to detail and unwavering commitment to service made her an indispensable asset to the church community.

Sista was renowned for her culinary skills, preparing delicious meals, including elaborate Sunday dinners with collard greens, baked mac n cheese, fried chicken, and a lemon cake for dessert. She generously fed many families in need and ensured that children in her neighborhood had enough to eat and suitable clothing for school. Sista's love for music resonated deeply within her soul. Whether it was the harmonious melodies of hymns sung in church or the tender tunes she hummed while working, her voice became a vessel for expressing her adoration for Jesus Christ. Her commitment to prayer and worship served as a testament to her profound connection with God Almighty.

As Sista entered her golden years, she faced the inevitable challenges of aging with courage and grace, leaning on her faith and the support of her loved ones to navigate life's journey. Despite the challenges of aging, she remained resolute in her belief that God's grace would sustain her, drawing comfort from the words of Psalm 23, which she had committed to memory and imparted to her children and grandchildren as a source of inspiration and guidance. She was strong and very independent, living alone until the age of 89. Her resilience was evident when she twice overcame COVID-19.

Sista’s heart was always with her family, and she cherished the times spent with her children and grandchildren. Their presence brought her immeasurable joy, and she treasured every moment shared with them. Whether playing word puzzles and board games or simply sharing stories and laughter, Sista's love for her family was unwavering. In her final years, Sista's legacy of love, faith, and compassion continued to shine brightly, illuminating the lives of all who knew her.

Sista was predeceased by seven siblings and one son, Willie James Jr. “Brick”, and long time sister friend Reola Williams. She leaves to cherish her memory her three sisters: Rev. Dorothy Robertson (Fred) of Connecticut, Nora Walker of Georgia, and Lucille Champion of Connecticut; two brothers, Richard Champion (Alexia) of New Jersey, and Walter Champion (Queen) of Maryland; three children, Joseph James (Ernestine) of South Carolina, Cynthia Rowe, and Benjamin Rowe Jr. of Connecticut; son-in-law Michael Cundiff Sr. of Connecticut; her grandchildren Natasha James of South Carolina, Michael Cundiff Jr. of Connecticut, and Rashida Cundiff of North Carolina; her great-grandchildren Alexus James and Alec James of South Carolina, and Davin Jefferson of North Carolina; one great-great-grandson, Omari Strain; and a host of cousins, nieces, and nephews.

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