James Earl Van Stavern

August 18, 1948 - March 4, 2024
Golf Course Road Church of Christ
Friday 3/8, 2:00 pm
Memorial Service

Whether he was kayaking the Panama Canal with alligators, parasailing in Athens, decorating homes, hosting parties, or spending time with his beloved family, James Earl Van Stavern was born with the natural gift of making the mundane an adventure.  Born August 18, 1948 to the late Earl and Ruby Van Stavern in Sundown, Texas, JamesContinue Reading

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Tree 22 trees were planted in memory of James Van Stavern
Mary Helen Hurt left a message on March 7, 2024:
Anonymous left a message on March 7, 2024:
Liz & Mike LaFerney left a message on March 7, 2024:
Anonymous left a message on March 6, 2024:
John Porterfield left a message on April 14, 2024:
OH My Lord!! I googled James just on a whim this morning and learned of this travesty. My condolences go out to you his children. You two did not know me, but I worked for James during the summers that I was home from architectural school way back in the '80's - maintaining the warehouse and cleaning the office. One time when you all went on a family holiday, he had me freshen up and rearrange the show room. When he returned and saw what I had done he put me to work installing furnishings and accessories in client's homes. I consider him a mentor and a friend even though we were not in close contact. We did chat on occasion. I learned so much from him that has informed my 30 year career in the design industry. Especially about color. I think I'm the only architect that I know that is not afraid of color. And especially of using aubergine and persimmon together with a little bit of teal. An industry joke is that architects can only use nothing but white, black, gray and tan. The loss of James is a big loss to the community, his church (I know he loved his church), the design industry, and of course an overwhelming loss to you his children and grand children. My heart goes out to you. So sorry to hear about the loss of your father and peepaw. He will be greatly missed. John Porterfield
Peace of mind is a call away. We’re here when you need us most.
Russell D. King left a message on March 14, 2024:
James was a great man. He always knew how to handle the situation. I will miss him.
Becky Reid Armstrong left a message on March 11, 2024:
James and I graduated from high school together. We had so much fun in Levelland. We laughed endlessly and shared sweet memories. I’m glad his life beyond high school was so wonderful—just like him!
Gina Courter left a message on March 9, 2024:
Dear VanStavern family, We are all heart broken, that James is no longer here with us. But you already know how much joy, light, laughter, love, and beauty he has left with so many… How blessed is ANYONE that had the pleasure of knowing James and his FABULOUS self!! He will certainly be missed by many… Those of us that knew him, will see him through all things bright and beautiful! We are praying for your peace and comfort in the days and months ahead. Gods blessing's, Price, Gina, Kasey and Jentry
Cindy Pierce left a message on March 8, 2024:
Blade and Lauren, I had so hoped to come to celebrate James’ life with his family and friends, but I started running fever again last night. James was my art teacher in high school, a friend and my boss at Santa Fe. He was a wonderful and fun person. He will be missed! Prayers for your family during this time. Cindy Pierce
Jill Lankford left a message on March 8, 2024:
So sorry I couldn’t be there. Gary’s aunt also passed and we are with his mother in Dallas and attending a service on Saturday in east Texas. James was truly one of a kind, just like you. Love you as you will always be my second favorite Cinco de mayo birth child.
Joel Castello left a message on March 8, 2024:
Blade and Lauren, please accept our deepest sympathies on the passing of your father James. He and your Mom were great friends and they are missed. Lots of fun memories!
Wilson Roberts left a message on March 8, 2024:
In Memory of a Legend On a cold October Evening last year, I found myself in a Gym in the sprawling metropolis of Munster Texas population 1508. The Junior High gymnasium was only about a quarter full of dutiful parents and siblings. I was there to watch my daughters homeschool volleyball team do all they could to defeat those Germans in their home gym. It was a relaxed atmosphere and honestly, I was worn out. I had driven for 16 hours straight through the night to get to the game in time to watch Bailey play for 3 rotations in 3 Games I had time to kill to say the least. I did not recognize the dad sitting beside me. Being from West Texas I have a native-born proclivity to Introduce myself to any stranger, a trait most of my close friends regard as slightly odd. To my surprise before I could even introduce myself, I had a hand extended towards me, “Hi I’m Drew Anderson, He said with a friendly smile.” We quickly found ourselves in a lively conversation involving hunting and the outdoors, how we should use our talents for ministry and the encouragement of others. Drew runs the G.A.P. program at Denton Bible. This program helps young people find the way God cand use them in practical ways in life while learning outdoor survival skills. One thing led to another and this dynamic new friend stopped me dead in the middle of my story upon mentioning a one of the biggest examples of using your talents to teach others about God’s love to others being James VanStavern. He looked me dead in the eyes and said you know James VanStavern? Lauren’s Dad? “You know James?” I said! Almost immediately with childish enthusiasm we began regaling stories one after another. House Parties complete with six-foot subs and all the pizza highschoolers could eat which must have cost a king’s ransom. I was a couple of years older than Drew and just like half of Midland I was “best friends” with Blade. While Drew was friends with Lauren, we just missed getting to know each other. Drew and I had another common bond. We both worked for James. James was my first real “Boss” I worked at Van Stavern Interiors from 92-98. I’m pretty sure James just hired me because I had a strong back and could move a chaise lounge with ease. Side note he taught me a lot of fancy words. It was not long before James noticed I had a small amount of talent. While repairing a piece of furniture he asked me to paint cheetah spots on it! The next thing you know I would be doing piece after piece. Before long I was moving less furniture and painting more walls with every manor of faux finish imaginable. He gave me responsibility and allowed me creative license. Always pushing me to try harder make my work better. His philosophy was keep going until it was Absolutely Fabulous! James introduced me into a world that most West Texas kids could only dream of. To this day I can remember the way he would glide into a room and take complete control of the most chaotic of situations and with a laugh and a turn of a phrase every one on his crew would grin and begin to put his vision together. Much to the surprise of many a West Texas Oil man he would find himself standing on a Zebra rug with a $5000 Angora Sofa with complete with tassels and fringe scratch there head and “say I can’t believe I’m saying this but I love the way this looks”. Watching James work was nothing short of Magic! All of that is not what made James a Legend though. What made him a Legend was the way He would tell you that you were great, and greatness was inside you. I never had anyone speak life into me in that way. He told me to use my God given talents to help others to know that God had a special purpose for your life. James raised his son to be a kind, encouraging friend. The kind of guy who was your friend even though he had hundreds of friends Blade made you feel like you were his best friend. James would have his whole staff eat with his clients” while we were out working, and he never told us what to order. He never treated me as a hired hand. When it was time for me to go off to finish my education at UNT he wrote me a letter of recommendation. James’s letter got me on staff with the number one Mural Artist in Highland Park Dallas. This allowed me to finish my education debt free and start life off with a great Job. Drew and I had a great conversation that evening. Before we parted ways Drew texted James and included a Selfie with the two of us sitting on those Muster Junior High bleachers. James promptly replied, “Two Great Men and Fathers.” Always Encouraging. Lawzee, those streets of Gold are going to be Zebra striped, and the Gates are now Cheetah spotted. I know it will look Fabulous! Don’t worry Jesus, James will send your Dad the Bill 😉 Blade, I love you. Lauren, Thank you for sharing your parents with all of us crazy Kids. In His Love Wilson Roberts
Love, Glen and Janet Elliott left a message on March 8, 2024:
James was wonderful in every way. We are so sorry for everyones loss and are praying for your peace, comfort and healing.
A memorial tree was planted in memory of James Van Stavern . Plant a Tree
Elizabeth Rutledge (Jacobson) left a message on March 7, 2024:
It is with the saddest heart that I write this, but also a grateful heart that I was fortunate enough to have known James and to have been his friend. Our homes have been full of his handiwork, and every room has its reminder of him. He was larger than life, the very definition of enthusiasm and joy. A perfect "tidal wave"! Dear James, rest in peace with your Debbie. We always will miss you. Elizabeth Rutledge Jacobson and Jack Jacobson
Alice Burns left a message on March 7, 2024:
It is with great sadness that I write on James’s memory page, for I have lost a wonderful friend and we have all lost a giant of a man. What a remarkable person he was and what a legacy he leaves for his children. I will never forget the New York City trips with Deb, James and their many friends and clients where we took in as many Broadway shows as we could fit into a few days, went to see Geraldo Rivera and Sally Jessie Rafael talk shows (many of you probably don’t even remember them), ate at fabulous restaurants, and shopped till we dropped! Probably the most positive human being I’ve ever known, no obstacle was too great for James. On the last day of one of those trips, I found an old wooden trunk at a flea market for my young son Stuart’s room. Though it seemed like getting that trunk home to Lubbock would be impossible, the next thing I knew James was loading it into the trunk of a taxicab and we were soon off to the airport! James was awesomeness personified. My whole family will miss you, James, but we are comforted in knowing that you are at home with Deb in Heaven with our Lord and Savior.
Anonymous left a message on March 6, 2024:
A memorial tree was planted in memory of James Van Stavern . Plant a Tree
Linda Johnston left a message on March 6, 2024:
It is with a heavy heart that I learned of James’ passing. He was one of the most dynamic and talented gentleman I have ever known. If it weren’t for James, we would have never decorated our three homes in Midland. Every time we moved, he hung our pictures, brought us unique furnishings for a new look, arranged our furniture and continued to surprise us with his imaginative use of our “ordinary” belongings. He took care of many many beautify homes in Midland and outreaching cities. James’s legacy will live on in our home for many years to come. Rest in peace and prayers for Debbie and the family during this time of loss and grief.
CJ Lowery left a message on March 6, 2024:
To a man who had love in his heart as big as the largest tree in the redwood forest.
A memorial tree was planted in memory of James Van Stavern . Plant a Tree
Cameron, Kendall & Daphne Greer left a message on March 6, 2024:
You're in our thoughts and prayers!
Red Florist's Choice was purchased for the family of James Van Stavern by Cameron, Kendall & Daphne Greer. Send Flowers
A tree was also planted in memory of James Van Stavern
Timothy Edward Walker left a message on March 6, 2024:
Glenda and I remember fondly James and Debbie! Her beautiful voice added to many wedding and funeral singing groups I led at GCR. His quick wit and humorous lines of conversation are unforgettable to me. I still remember him saying, "...I didn't just get off of a pig truck from Snider" as he remarked about his decorating experience. We loved both of these beautiful people! So sad to see their passing. Love to Blade, Lauren and families, Tim & Glenda Walker
Peace of mind is a call away. We’re here when you need us most.
Paula Duncan left a message on March 6, 2024:
He was ONE OF A KIND!!!! I loved every minute I spent with him. He and Debbie were precious. What a gift to know them.
Anonymous left a message on March 6, 2024:
The Van Staverns- I am praying for you all. A donation to Rope Youth was made in memory of your amazing PeePaw. He will be deeply missed by all.
Hope And Healing was purchased for the family of James Van Stavern by Anonymous. Send Flowers
Regina and Joe Alvarado left a message on March 6, 2024:
He was so funny and his sense of humor was priceless !! Gosh his style was one of a kind and it opened a whole new world of COLOR !!! And been my life since !!! Made us realize we don’t have to live in a world of white and beige !!!! If the sky turns colors it’s because he had to add!!! A little BLING!!! Love to all !!
Anonymous left a message on March 6, 2024:
Red Florist's Choice was purchased for the family of James Van Stavern by Anonymous. Send Flowers
A tree was also planted in memory of James Van Stavern
J.C. & Stacey Cornett left a message on March 6, 2024:
Matt and Lauran,Stacey and I would like to extend our deepest condolences. May God hold you and your family close in this difficult time.
Peace Lily was purchased for the family of James Van Stavern by J.C. & Stacey Cornett. Send Flowers
A tree was also planted in memory of James Van Stavern
Jerry Webb left a message on March 6, 2024:
Blade, Lauren and your families, James was my dear friend since I was 18. We were joined at the hip in college. Spent summers as camp counselors for the Dallas Y. What memories and adventures. His talents contributed so much style and beauty to this world. Praying for your comforting from above. Got to go on a trip last spring and am so grateful with him. Rest in Peace, friend and now you are with Debbie. Jerry Webb
Pam (Hamm) Nolan left a message on March 6, 2024:
My heartfelt condolences to Blade , Lauren and their families. James was such a source of light and faith. He will be missed. I thank God for people like him.
David Nelson left a message on March 5, 2024:
I’m very sorry to hear of Mr. Van Stavern’s passing. I was in the YMCA day camp program as a child. He was such a great leader and role model for us. I have so many fond memories of him and the camp. May God bless the family as they cope with their loss, David A Nelson M.D.
Nalley-Pickle & Welch Funeral Home & Crematory left a message:
Please accept our deepest condolences for your family's loss.
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