Cover photo for Waleska Evans James's Obituary
Waleska Evans James Profile Photo
1923 Waleska 2024

Waleska Evans James

July 2, 1923 — March 21, 2024

Lexington, Massachusetts

Waleska Bacon Evans James, died peacefully at home in Lexington, Massachusetts on March 21, 2024, surrounded by her family. At one hundred years old, she had led a long and joyful life, and was loved and admired by all who knew her.

Born in New Haven, Connecticut on July 2, 1923, Waleska was the only child of Dr. Theodore Schneeloch Evans and Waleska Bacon Evans. She attended the Day (later Hopkins) School in New Haven, Connecticut, then Vassar College, earning a B.A. in Art History in 1944. Following her graduation, she joined Yale’s Art Department. She wed Hamilton R. James a few years later. The James’s initially resided in Gross Isle, Michigan where Ham worked for National Steel. Ham was subsequently transferred to Louisville, Kentucky then Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. Shortly thereafter, he joined Arthur D. Little in Cambridge, Massachusetts and the couple moved to their beloved, long-time hometown of Lincoln, Massachusetts. They spent summers in Maine and had a three-year stint living in London, England. Waleska and Ham were prominent members of the Lincoln community for almost sixty years, before moving to Brookhaven in Lexington, Massachusetts late in life. 

Waleska continually gave of herself to others both within and outside of her family. While raising four young boys, Waleska returned to the academic world, and she earned her Master of Arts degree in Anthropology at Brandeis University in 1981. She volunteered as a docent at Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts and at the de Cordova Museum and Sculpture Park in Lincoln. At these two institutions Waleska shared her extensive knowledge of contemporary, colonial American, and Buddhist art with students and visitors. She developed the program for teaching 5th grade youngsters from Boston Public Schools about world art for the MFA. She was a trustee and overseer of de Cordova, a member of the Education Committee, and a member of the Sculpture Park Advisory Board. At Brookhaven, she was head and an active member of the Art Committee. 

Waleska’s interests were wide ranging, encompassing music, poetry, art, anthropology, and archaeology. She was a member of the Boston Parliamentary Law Club, the Lexington Chorale, and a prolific amateur poet. While in her sixties she rafted western rivers to visit remote Native American Pueblo archaeological sites with the Crow Canyon Archaeological Center. 

Waleska always saw the best in others and was more interested in finding out about them than speaking about herself. She was unfailingly positive in her outlook, full of gratitude, and always modest, warm, and kind. 

Waleska was predeceased by her husband of sixty-one years Hamilton R. James. She is survived by her four sons, Hamilton E. of New York NY, David R. of South Reading VT, Benjamin B. of Concord MA, Michael T. of Haverford PA, ten grandchildren, and four great-grandchildren.

Family and friends will gather to honor and remember Waleska at her memorial service on Wednesday, June 19, 2024, at 11:00 a.m. in The First Parish in Lincoln, Bedford Rd., Lincoln.

In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to either of the following:
Good Shepherd Community Care
(617) 969-6130
https://gscommunitycare.org/

 de Cordova Museum and Sculpture Park
(617) 542-7696
https://thetrustees.org/place/decordova/

Arrangements under the care of Concord Funeral Home, 74 Belknap Street, Concord, MA 01742  978-369-3388 www.concordfuneral.com

 

Service Schedule

Past Services

Memorial Service

Wednesday, June 19, 2024

11:00am - 12:00 pm (Eastern time)

FIRST PARISH in LINCOLN

4 Bedford Rd, Lincoln, MA 01773

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