January 21, 1948 - December 16, 1976
Gary James was almost twenty-six when he attended his first prospective student meeting in January 1974 in the Seattle center. The center was four months old and growing rapidly and the need for a large teaching house was apparent. Gary did not hesitate to sign up as a house resident when the Prospect Park mansion with its four stories was located. He quickly became close friends with Roger Shelton who also moved into the teaching house. They spent hours discussing the work and pursuing center octaves including renovating the rooms and participating in prospective student meetings.
Gary had a regular job as a bus driver, which suited his disposition and abilities. He had a solid, steady energy and a very good moving center. Tall and slender with a winning smile, he rarely spoke but preferred to quietly observe and found the antics of others rather amusing. When he had time from his steady job to travel to Apollo, he generously offered a seat in his Nissan sports car for another student to accompany him.
By 1976, the push to open centers across the U.S. offered him the opportunity to become one of the supporting students. He moved to Philadelphia when that center opened in June 1976 and found work as a waiter in a little township called Rose Valley. It was while returning home around midnight from his job that a driver struck his car, killing Gary instantly. He was the first student in the Fellowship to complete his task.
The shock of his sudden death at such a young age rippled throughout the School, forcing us all to understand profoundly the seriousness of our endeavor. Although his time in the Fellowship was brief, lasting about three years, it was enough for him to demonstrate his commitment to awakening and form a permanent tendency to evolve.
Quiet friend who has come so far