Cover photo for Juanita Patricia James's Obituary
Juanita Patricia James Profile Photo
1944 Juanita 2020

Juanita Patricia James

November 1, 1944 — May 22, 2020

The Cochran Funeral Home of Murphy announces Funeral Services for Mrs. Juanita Patricia James, age 75 of Murphy who passed away at her home on Friday, May 22, 2020 surrounded by her family.

Juanita was born in Buncombe County, North Carolina on November 1, 1944. She developed a drive and determination that led her to a career in health care as an LPN. Although the work was hard and the hours long, she loved being a nurse. Being a strong and independent woman, she raised 6 wonderful children and is described as an amazing mother and friend. Her quick wit, gentle stubbornness, and famous one-liners captivated those around her. She was firm in her resolve- once her mind was made up, it was final. Juanita was an avid reader and writer. She wrote numerous short stories and manuscripts over the years and also wrote for the Cherokee Scout in the 70's.

Her beloved grandbabies, who affectionately called her "Nana", will cherish the warmth and love of the memories created at holiday family gatherings. The Christmas season was always a favorite and Nana's surprises never disappointed. Juanita enjoyed wildlife and nature. She was drawn to the beauty of the beach and lighthouses and the peaceful strength of the mountains of Cades Cove and Cataloochee. She also enjoyed fishing, horses, gardening, and canning. All skills she passed down to her children.

She will be warmly remembered by all who knew her, but especially missed by her family: daughter, Tanya Kim Heavener (Joseph); son, Michael Thomas; daughter, Tracie Thomas; daughter, Trisha Janielle Tanner; son, Chris James (Emily); and brother, Dwight Faile (Jody). Also, sharing in her legacy are 18 grandchildren and 17 great-grandchildren. Juanita was preceded in death by her parents; first husband, Vendall Thomas; second husband, Michael James; son, Jackie Thomas; grandsons, Joshua Vaughn and Nathaniel Thomas; and brother, Timothy Faile.

Funeral Services will be held at 3:00 p.m. on Sunday, May 24, 2020 from the Chapel of Cochran Funeral Home with Rev. Tony Ware officiating. Special music will be presented by Scott Rogers. The family will receive friends at the funeral home from 1 p.m. until the service begins.

Flowers are gladly being accepted, The family asks that you please send live arrangements that they can plant at their homes in honor of Mrs. James.
To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Juanita Patricia James, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services


Sunday, May 24, 2020

1:00 - 3:00 pm

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Funeral Service

Sunday, May 24, 2020

Starts at 3:00 pm

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


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