James Keith Housden, 91, of Luray, passed away on Monday, July 10, 2023, at Hawksbill Assisted Living in Luray.
James was born on August 19, 1931, in Shenandoah, Virginia, and was the son of the late Gilbert Thurman and Rachel Irene Kite Housden.
He was a 1950 graduate of Shenandoah High School, and also graduated from Dunsmore Business College. He was a member of the United States Air Force, having served in North Africa/Tripoli, Libya, during the Korean War.
As a young man, James worked at Kite’s Store, Newport, which was founded by his grandfather, Harry Kite, and his uncle, Carl Foltz. After 46 years of service, James retired in 2008 as the Regional Comptroller of Accounts for the Virginia Skyline Company/ARAMARK.
On December 17, 1952, James married the former Virginia Paige Judd, who survives.
James was a member of St. Paul Evangelical Lutheran Church, Shenandoah, where he served in numerous capacities including counselor for the Luther League. In the 1960s, he and his family transferred their membership to Saint Mark Evangelical Lutheran Church, Luray, where he continued to be active, serving as Sunday School Superintendent, holding offices on the church council numerous times and serving as a church trustee. He was a delegate to the ELCA National Assembly in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and was also a frequent delegate to the Virginia Synod Assembly. In 2016, the family reunited with St. Paul Evangelical Lutheran Church.
James was a former member of the Newport Grove Hill Ruritan Club, during which time he served as President, Vice President and was a past Lieutenant Governor for the District. He was a member of the Luray Lafayette Masonic Lodge #137 and the Town and County Dinner Club. During his retirement years, he was a volunteer at the Luray-Page County Chamber of Commerce.
In addition to his wife of 70 years, James is survived by a daughter, Ellen Paige and husband Randall Fields of Luray; a sister-in-law, Jeanie Judd; his nephews, Andy Cave, Tim Cave, Tyler Judd, Sam Cave, Troy Cave, Collin Murphy, and McClain Judd; his nieces, Caitlyn Cave Murphy, Madyson Riley Murphy, Amy Elizabeth Judd, and Landry Paige Judd; and his many Housden and Kite cousins. In addition to his parents, James was preceded in death by his sister, Emma Louise Cave; his in-laws, Arnold O. and Dorothy Herndon Judd; and his brothers-in-law, G. Herndon Judd and Gerald K. Judd.
A Celebration of Life service will be conducted by the Reverend R. Nicholas Eichelberger at 11 a.m. on Thursday, July 13, at St. Paul Evangelical Lutheran Church, 6355 U.S. Hwy. 340, Shenandoah. James will be laid to rest at Beahm’s Chapel Cemetery, Luray. Arrangements provided by the Bradley Funeral Home.
The family will receive friends at the church from 10-11 a.m. on Thursday, July 13.