2023ObituariesHadley David James

November 22, 2023by SealeUser1

Hadley David James

July 26,1948-November 11, 2023

Man of God, loving husband, devoted father, faithful friend.  Hadley David James passed from this earth into Glory on November 11,2023 having battled a rare form of leukemia for the past one and a half years.  Hadley was known for his quick smile and his ability to make others laugh.  Always quick with a dad joke or prank his contagious joy will be greatly missed.  Hadley truly had a love of people that is not found in many today.  Always willing to help anyone at any time he truly would give you the shirt off his back if he thought it was needed.  

Hadley was born in Bend, Oregon and was adopted at the age of 3 months old by Hadley Brim James and Elizabeth Menges James who preceded him in death. To the end of his life he maintained a close loving relationship with his adopted sister Nora Keihr.  

Growing up Hadley was a natural athlete.  At 6’6” he was not only a gifted basketball player he also was a member of the US track team.  Competing nationally in shot put and discus events up until his 60th year, he took gold medals at the National Senior Olympics in both events.  Hadley credits his high school track coach Wayne Ambrose and his wife Arlane with leading him to the Lord after the death of his father. Wayne and Arlane became like family to Hadley.   He attended church with them while in high school and continued his love for the Lord while studying at BIOLA college where he met with continued success on the court and field.  One of the things that Wayne instilled in Hadley was a desire to pay it forward.  He used his love for God and his athleticism to mentor young people by coaching and by witnessing to anyone who crossed his path.  One of his greatest joys was the young people who surrounded him late in his life and showered him with love and affection.    While at BIOLA he was recruited by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department not only to become a valued member of their force but also to compete on their track team.  While employed by the LACSD Hadley became a member of the SWAT team and his competitive nature led him to weapons training and ultimately, he became the National Police Pistol Combat Champion shooting the first perfect score in competition. 

 Hadley became so adept at shooting that the Sheriff would often call on him to demonstrate for high profile visitors.  One of which, Gavin DeBecker, security specialist for governments, large corporations and public figures offered Hadley a position with his firm.  Thus began Hadley’s time in high profile public figure protection. Of his famous clients, his avowed favorite was Tina Turner. Hadley would serve as head of security for several world tours with her.  To Hadley she was the epitome of a “class act” and truly a caring individual.  After many years on the road Hadley left public figure protection to spend more time with his family.  As the father of two sons, Hadley Thomas James and Donald Michael James and one daughter Nicole Noelle James, he longed for family life.  He left behind the world of travel and a new country every night, to become the regional director of loss prevention for Select Build BMC. He continued to work until  the age of 70 and only retired to move to Louisiana after remarrying in 2018.

Woven through his interesting work life and love of family was another love of his.  Hadley loved Great Danes and participated in breeding and showing his beloved breed.  Hadley owned multiple nationally ranked dogs, Niko and Ledger but also owned not one but two different national futurity winning puppies, Mick and Julian.  It was his love of Great Danes that led him to the love of his life, his wife, Melissa James, whom he met at the Great Dane National Specialty show in Tulsa, OK.  Despite the distance, united by their shared love of the breed and each other they were wed in 2018 and Hadley soon left Las Vegas for Baton Rouge, where he enjoyed a close community of friends, family and church.  Living in Louisiana brought new and renewed joy to Hadly.  He enjoyed all that Louisiana, the Sportman’s Paradise, had to offer.

Shortly after arriving in Baton Rouge Hadley became a member of Greenwell Springs Baptist Church.  The members embraced him in a way that was a source of constant amazement to him.  He served on the cook team that prepared dinner on Wednesday nights. He was heard to say he spent the day laughing and enjoying the camaraderie of his fellow brothers and sisters in Christ.  Hadley had a deep-rooted belief in the Lord and enjoyed his time spent in worship and bible study.  It brought him such great comfort to know that God had prepared a place for him in Heaven.  Hadley’s life was one of testimony of God’s grace and love. Hadley will be remembered for the loving way he shared with the young people in our home God’s plan of salvation and that if they just placed their trust in Him that they could have the peace he knew as a child of God.  There is no doubt that when he left this earth, he entered Heaven and heard the Lord say, “Well done my good and faithful servant.”


The memorial will be held at Greenwell Springs Baptist Church on Wednesday November 29th, 2023.  Visitation to begin at 11:00 A.M. service to follow at Noon.  In lieu of flowers the family asks that donations be made to the Great Dane Club of America Charitable Trust. 




One comment

  • Thomas Riesselmann

    November 24, 2023 at 6:20 pm

    I knew Hadley as he was with a construction company in Las Vegas and I was a Detective with the police Department. Hadley was instrumental in helping myself and partner Alan Hanners in the construction theft prevention. We were very successful in this endeavor. Hadley was very thoughtful and full of life. He even helped me to shoot a gun better. I will miss him terrible. I will miss his wit and smile. God Bless you Hadley and see ya when I see


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