Cover photo for James Ness's Obituary
James Ness Profile Photo
1932 James 2018

James Ness

February 26, 1932 — January 12, 2018

Memorial services for James S. Van Ness, 85, of Temple, will be 11 a.m. Friday, January 19 at Christ Episcopal Church in Temple with Reverend Justin Yawn and Pastor Mark Wilburn officiating.

Dr. Van Ness passed away Friday, January 12, at a local hospital.

James Samuel Van Ness was born February 26, 1932 in Houston, Texas to John Bishop Van Ness and Ruth Ryan Van Ness. He served in the U.S. Air Force from November 1954 until January 1958, attaining the rank of 1st Lieutenant. He married Nedra Tracy on June 18, 1955 in College Park, Maryland. Dr. Van Ness was an American Revolutionary Historian, and received a Bachelor's, Master's, and then his Ph.D. in History from the University of Maryland. Dr. Van Ness taught at the University of Maryland and was an Adjunct Faculty member of American Studies at the University of Heidelberg.

Dr. Van Ness and his family moved to Temple in 1982, where he became the Dean of Instruction at Temple College. He was a member of the Temple South Rotary Club, Central Texas Torch Club, the Institute for the Humanities at Salado, the Temple Cultural Activities Centers, the Organization of American Historians, the Texas Community College Teachers Association, and the Temple Literacy Council.

He was preceded in death by his parents; his brother, John Bishop Van Ness; and son, Paul James Van Ness.

He is survived by his wife, Nedra Van Ness; a daughter, Lynn Van Ness; and his brother's children, Dr. Mark Van Ness and Cheryl (Van Ness) MacBride.

Donations in Dr. Van Ness' memory may be made to the Temple South Rotary, Christ Episcopal Church, or the Temple College Jazz Festival.

Harper-Talasek Funeral Home in Temple is in charge of arrangements.



Christ Episcopal Church
300 N. Main
Temple, TX  76501
Friday, January 19, 2018
11:00 a.m.
To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of James Ness, please visit our flower store.


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