Obituary of James E Vann
James Edward Vann, 80, of Garnerville, NY, peacefully passed away on September 5, 2023 after battling Alzheimer’s for many years. He was born on September 20, 1942 in Greenwood, FL and was the youngest of four children born from the union of the late Samuel Vann and Priscilla Baker. James was raised in Florida by his father and late grandmother, Essie Vann Pete, where he attended Union Grove Public Schools and graduated from Union Grove Highschool.
After completing school, James actively served in the United States Army, including serving overseas in the Vietnam War, until he was honorably discharged. For his service, James was awarded the National Defense Service Medal and the Vietnam Service Medal. Years later, James served his country again as an Army Reservist at the 320th Evacuation Hospital in Newburgh, NY.
James always stressed the importance of education. After serving in Vietnam, James moved to New York and received his Nursing degree from Rockland Community College (RCC). While attending RCC, he met and later married his devoted wife of forty-seven years, Janet Kee.
James went on to graduate from Harlem Hospital’s School of Anesthesia as the salutatorian of his class and proudly worked as a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist for over 35 years. He worked at a number of hospitals, including Letchworth Village, Harlem Hospital, Parkmed, and Mount Sinai Hospital, until he retired in 2012.
When James wasn’t working, you could find him in the garage restoring old cars with his dear friend Harrison (usually with a cold beer in hand). His greatest project, and the last car he restored, was a red 1965 Mustang. James was an avid sports fan, always rooting for the Florida Gators, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the New York Mets and the Knicks, and enjoyed listening to jazz, funk and R&B music from his extensive record collection.
Although James lived in New York, the love for his home state of Florida never wavered. He often took road trips from New York to Florida to visit his family, and especially enjoyed trips to Panama City to watch the Super Bowl with his cousin Gus. Always with a camera, James captured countless memories of his travels. He will be remembered for his straight-forward, fun-loving personality and, most importantly, the love he had for his family.
James leaves to cherish his memory, his wife, Janet, who tirelessly cared for him until his last days; four children, Keith Vann (Selena), Sharon Brown (Cedric), Christopher Vann (Silver), and Jacqulyn Walker (DeShaun); five grandchildren, Whitney Brown, Sean Brown, London Walker, Mackenzie Walker, and Hazel Vann; two sisters, Vera Williams and Helen Perry (Scott); sisters-in-law Carrie Hendricks, Sarah Watkins and Margaret Aldridge (Wilbur); brother-in-law Benjamin Kee; and a host of other relatives and friends.
Besides his parents and grandparents, James was predeceased by his sister Mary Sue Brown.To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of James Vann, please visit Tribute Store