University of Pittsburgh-Johnstown

UPJ mourns the passing of beloved Professor, Dr. Jean James

The Pitt-Johnstown community is saddened by the loss of Elementary Education Professor Emerita, Jean James, who passed away on August 8, 2023 at the age of 75.

Professor James began teaching fulltime in the Education program in September 1991 and retired in 2010. Prior to joining the Pitt-Johnstown family, Jean was a kindergarten and first grade teacher in Marion Center for twenty years. Jean was a dedicated teacher, gentle and engaging, with a fine sense of humor. Colleagues regarded her as a role model for students.  Associate professor of Education Natalie Conrad Barnyak remarked, “Jean was a kind and thoughtful colleague and friend, who will be deeply missed. As a professor, she will always be remembered for sharing her love of children's literature.”

Jean James earned bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees in Elementary Education from Indiana University of Pennsylvania. She is survived by her husband Eugene “Gene” James; a brother, Richard (Sharon) Yahres; a niece, Nicki Lombeva; and a brother-in-law, Harry “Jack” (Kathy) James. 

Friends will be received on Sunday, August 13 from 2 to 4 and 6 to 8 p.m. at the John A Lefdahl Funeral Home in Indiana, PA. An additional hour of visitation will be held Monday from 10 to 11 a.m.  with funeral service immediately following in the Lefdahl Chapel.