Obituary for Elizabeth Royster James '81

Katherine Miller
It is with deep sadness we announce the death of Elizabeth Royster James '81 of Nashville, TN.

Elizabeth Royster James, a light to all who knew her, passed away on September 30, 2015. Elizabeth had a sparkling personality, an incisive wit and a smile that brightened every room. She made every person feel special and was a giving and devoted daughter, sister, aunt, godmother and friend. Elizabeth was beloved.

Elizabeth is survived by her mother, Jeannette Cross of Asheville, North Carolina; father, Dr. Everett James of Chapel Hill, North Carolina; brother, Everett (Gretchen) James of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; sister, Jeannette (Clay) Whitson of Nashville, Tennessee; and nieces and nephews, Clay Whitson '10 and Elizabeth Whitson '11, and Charlotte and Katherine James. 

Elizabeth James was an event designer and planner of extraordinary talent. She was widely admired for transforming every occasion into a magical and memorable experience. Elizabeth pushed beyond the bounds of the expected and was mindful of every small detail. This was rooted in her ability to listen perceptively to every client and in her deep desire to capture their ideas and transform them into once-in-a-lifetime experiences. 

Before forming her own company, Elizabeth was the director of the International Steeplechase Group, an organization that developed global steeplechase meets. Elizabeth also formerly owned and operated the Company Company, a catering business in Atlanta, Georgia.

Born in Boston, Massachusetts in 1967, Elizabeth was a native of Nashville. She was a graduate of University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1989. Devoted to numerous nonprofit groups, Elizabeth was a board member of Carolina Women's Leadership Council and Friends of Warner Parks and previously volunteered with Cumberland Heights; Frist Center for the Arts; Iroquois Steeplechase; Land Trust for Tennessee; Nashville Food Project; Second Harvest Food Bank; STARS; and St. Augustine's Church. 

Elizabeth had strong faith and a great love of the outdoors and of every creature great and small. That love inspired her steady willingness to help any person in any circumstance. This grace extended well beyond her family and friends as she frequently volunteered to feed the hungry, treating every person with dignity. 

Elizabeth James will be long remembered for the immeasurable gifts she gave and for the deep impression she has left on the hearts of all who knew her.

A service to celebrate Elizabeth's remarkable life was held on Sunday, October 4th at 2 p.m., at Benton Chapel at Vanderbilt University Divinity School, at 21st and Scarritt Place. The visitation was held immediately prior to the service beginning at 12:30 p.m. 

In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to Carolina Women's Leadership Council (University of North Carolina), Friends of Warner Parks and Nashville Food Project. - See more at:
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