William Robert James, of San Pedro, California, died from complications of lung cancer deemed by the State of California to be in the line of duty.
Born to Daniel and Mary Lou James, Bill graduated in 1987 from Miraleste High School, where he played football. Bill completed a degree in business administration at the University of Oklahoma in 1992.
Bill made a life in California, but part of his heart remained in Oklahoma. He loved the Sooners and attended every football game possible.
Bill is a proud member of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma.
Bill worked for many years at Catalina Express, starting as a deckhand and working his way up to captain. There he met Lisa Seelig, and they were married on April 20, 1996. Bill was most proud of his family. A devoted and involved father, he and Lisa raised two wonderful children, Mia and Joe.
Bill had a 21-year career with the Los Angeles Fire Department, where he achieved the ranks of firefighter and engineer and was promoted to captain in 2017. At the fire department, he was affectionately known as “Wild Bill” for his zest for life.
Bill cherished and cultivated relationships with his large family and was actively involved in every gathering, party, game, and sporting event. Bill loved sports, particularly mountain biking, running, boating, surfing, bodysurfing, and paddle boarding.
Bill had a quick wit and loved joking around and laughing. He was remembered as generous and giving, even-keeled and unflappable. He was the pillar of his family.
In addition to Lisa, Mia, and Joe, Bill was survived by his brother, Mark; sister-in-law, Patty; and niece, Rebecca; his two dogs, Lincoln and Sadie; a large extended family; and countless colleagues.
He was beloved and respected by all who knew him. He is sorely missed.