James Henry Marks

November 15, 1942 ~ July 20, 2021 (age 78)


James H. Marks was born November 15, 1942, to Henry and Zannie Mae Marks in Prescott, Arkansas.  James was the third child born to this union. 

James graduated from McRae High School located in Prescott, Arkansas where he was actively involved in sports such as football, and music where he played solo trumpet and trombone.  He was also a member of the school, Combo where this small band of jazz musicians played often for school proms and school socials.

James moved to Tacoma, Washington at the age of 18 from Prescott, Arkansas.  He became a member of the New Jerusalem Church Of God In Christ under the leadership of the late Bishop T.L. Westbrook and served as the musician for many years until he relocated to Rockford, Illinois.

Later he returned to Tacoma, Washington and joined Eastside Community Church of God in Christ and served as the Minister of Music under Pastor Alfred Davis for several years.  James worked many jobs for other employers to make sure his family was well cared for.  Eventually, James started his own company, M&M Construction, and was among the first African American entrepreneurs in Western Washington who worked specializing in asphalt pavement and applications, making it possible for him to hire minorities in the field where there were no African Americans.  James also started other businesses that enabled him to help others for over thirty-five years.

James also loved analytical discussions about the Bible; James was a great storyteller and possessed a deep practical wisdom in multiple disciplines; he had a magnificent appreciation for nature and enjoyed God’s creation in its phenomenal splendor.

James is survived by his four children, Sheila Marks, James K. Marks (Beth), Gregory Marks and Jaime Clayton; the grandfather of eleven children, Ashley Jones, Anthony Marks, Eric Marks (deceased), Joshua Jones (Arlesia), Garrett Marks, Brandon Marks, LaVon Johnson, Kaleisha Marks, Serenitty Marks, Solomon Marks and Marilyn Clayton: and the great-grandfather of nine children, Naomi Williams, Zabuel Marks, Declan Marks, Korbin Knights, Lennox Jones, LaVae Johnson, Nova Jones, Ezekiel Bennett and Zemira Bennett.  His sisters; Lorene Marks-Foreman, Lois Douglass, Eloise McGill (Walter), Brothers; William Douglas Marks (Rose), Larry Marks (Sherisice) and a host of nieces, nephews, and friends.

The family of James Marks would like to express our appreciation for the love and support shown by Ms. Dorothy Jean Davis to the Marks family over a span of many years, including staying by James’ side until his transition.  Jean’s commitment and dedication will never be forgotten. We pray that God continues to show you favor.

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Private Services

Terry Family Funeral Home
2337 N. Williams Ave
Portland, OR 97227

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