James was born May 31, 1949 in Vernon, Texas to Ella (Loraine) Rice and William (Larkin) Bowling. He grew up in Arvin, CA (Weedpatch) then lived the remainder of his life in Taft. James served in the US Army where he was awarded the Silver Star for his extreme bravery during the Vietnam War. Thereafter in Bakersfield is where he met his wife Evelyn. James wasn't afraid of hard labor, and worked in the oilfields for many years and worked for Mashburn Transportation and others. His favorite pastime was relaxing while fishing at the aqueduct with a cold one.

James was a very humble, simple, loving and caring man who lived on his own terms. It is hard to convey how much he will be missed by family and friends.

He is survived by his wife of 38 years, Evelyn, children Aaron, Jason and Tracy, seven grandchildren, three great-grandchildren and sisters Mary, Linda, Kathy, and Debbie, and his beloved pets Duke II and Sissy.

He is preceded in death by his parents and sisters, Sharon and Becky.

James' favorite saying was always “Let me tell you something,” and it's being finished by saying, “I may be gone in sight, but I'm here in spirit.”

Services are scheduled for Friday, March 9, 2018 at Mission Family Mortuary in Bakersfield at 11:30 a.m. Graveside services will be held at Bakersfield National Cemetery at 2:00 p.m.