Ava Dawn James

January 10, 1974 ~ October 11, 2019 (age 45)


Ava Dawn Marshall James joined her husband, Steve, and her dad in their heavenly journey on October 11, 2019. Named for her grandfather, Alva John Smith, Ava was born on January 10, 1974 to Ernest and Riletta Marshall in Muskogee, Oklahoma.

Growing up in First Christian Church, Ava accepted Jesus and was baptized at an early age. She later attended York Street Christian Church and Mt. Zion Baptist Church.

Ava attended Cherokee Elementary School in Muskogee, Wainwright Public School and graduated from Oktaha Public School in 1992. She was on the flag team for the Oktaha Marching Band and served as class reporter. Ava was active in the Muskogee County 4-H program winning the state Personality Improvement program and a trip to National 4-H Congress in Chicago.

After graduation Ava became certified in several health areas working as a nurses’ aide and as a medication aide in several nursing homes. A 2005 auto accident forced her into early retirement.

Ava met her husband Stephen James while working in the health field. They were married on March 15, 2007. She became step mom to Jeremy, Morgan and Maurice James. Stavery Allen James and Staden Marshall James completed the family. Ava soon found herself as a football, basketball and baseball mom, eventually settling on baseball and the Rays teams organization.

As a member of the Muscogee tribe, Ava grew up listening to her dad singing Creek hymns while he was on his tractor in the pasture and at Montesuma Indian Baptist Church and Tuskegee Indian Baptist Church where he ministered for several years. Ava was active in the local Muscogee Indian Community until her health changed.

Surviving Ava are her sons, Stavery and Staden James of the home, her mother Riletta Marshall Nixon of Tulsa, her sister Tammy Huitt of Oktaha, step children Jeremy James of Tulsa, Morgan James of Muskogee, Maurice James of Muskogee, grandson, Davaughn Johnson of Muskogee, niece, Riley Huitt, nephews, Rob Huitt and Eli Huitt of Oktaha, in-laws, Jackson and Dorothy James of Muskogee, aunt Debra Smith of Tuttle, aunt Helen Dionne of California and a number of baseball coaches, moms, dads and players, other family and special friends.

Preceding her in death were her husband, Steve, her father the Reverend Ernest Marshall, step-father Norman Nixon and best friend Casandra Webb.

Services are being supervised by Bradley Funeral Service in Muskogee. Her service will be at York Street Christian Church in Muskogee on Wednesday October 16th at 2:00 p.m. with minister Gene Thompson presiding. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Muskogee County 4-H, 1440 S. Cherokee, Muskogee, OK 74403, York Street Christian Church, 1125 S. York, Muskogee, OK 74403 or the Rays Youth Baseball Organization P.O. Box 791, Okay, OK 74446.

Pallbearers are the baseball coaches from the Rays: Johnny Hutchens, Gordon Estes, Daniel Hanna, Armando Duke, John Rozell, Manny Mendez, Kristian Rowan and John David Jammison. Honorary pallbearers Rob Huitt, Maurice James, Alan Colbert, Rick Colbert, Tracy Cole, Brian James and Jackson James.


Tuesday, October 15, 2019
2:00 PM - 8:00 PM

Bradley Belltower Chapel
1020 West Okmulgee
Muskogee, OK 74401

Funeral Service

Wednesday, October 16, 2019
2:00 PM

York Street Christian Church
1125 S York St
Muskogee, Oklahoma 74403

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