James Chism, Jr.

James Chism, Jr.

Monday September 26th, 1977 - Sunday July 19th, 2020
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James B. Chism, Jr., a God-fearing husband, brother, son, and strong friend; a creative soul who departed too soon for those he left behind on July 19, 2020. He was born on September 26, 1977 in Chattanooga, Tennessee to Shelba & the late James B. Chism, Sr. and little brother of Derrica Chism. James was educated in the Hamilton County School District that culminated as a 1995 graduate of Chattanooga High School for Paideia and Performing Arts Phoenix Three. After graduation, James enrolled as a full-time student to pursue studies of Pre-Medicine at the University of Tennessee Knoxville and later, Human Services Technology at Chattanooga State Community College. James’ professional career included employment at BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee and most recently at Quicken Loans of Detroit, Michigan where he was a Communication Development Coach. It was during his time in Detroit where he rediscovered his passion for painting, thus beginning his journey as a self-taught abstract artist.

James was never one to go along to get along; being the creator verses the follower of his drum. To quote James – “I strive to create my works of art in a way that is pleasing to the Yoruba concept known as Ase` (ah-Shay) or “so it is.” Ase` is the power given to make things happen and produce change. That is my art in a nutshell. I aim to inspire and make change in a way that is non-objective, unapologetic and nonconforming.”

Up until his untimely passing, James continued to push himself as an entrepreneur in the early stages of his consulting company; as a co-host of the Chess Not Checkers podcast by Kingship Chess Academy with founder & childhood friend Anthony Gladden; membership in organizations such as Detroit Artist Market and Embrace Creatives; as a featured artist in publications such as Between The Lines and Metro Detroit Times; and participating in events & exhibitions such as Brothers In Motion (Light Box Art Studio), Detroit Little Library Exhibition (Light Up Livernois), heART Showcase (Quicken Loans), and I KAN DO DAT (Rush Arts Philadelphia and Upper Darby Art Gallery).

James lived and breathed creativity through poetry, teaching himself how to play the bass guitar, traveling, experimenting & cooking various foods, and absorbing culture. As one who never met a stranger, James formed numerous relationships due to his extraordinary presence and positive light. He loved to love, was attentive, a good listener, funny with a laugh that made you want to join in because of the good vibes he sent, a gentle giant with a sense of complexity & creativity that possessed je ne sais quoi.

Though absent in the body but present in the Lord, James leaves behind his loving, devoted wife and soulmate of 10 years, Jarkara; mother-in-law, Shyretta G. Parks; father-in- law, James R. Murphy; nieces, Jasmyne, Desiree` and Robyn Chism; great niece, E’Leah Chism-Lawrence; best friend whom he considered a brother, Corey (Melissa) Holloway; along with relatives, colleagues, and innumerable friends.

A memorial service will be held privately and will be broadcasted live beginning at 10:00 am EST Saturday, August 15, 2020 at

Arrangements by John P. Franklin Funeral Home, 1101 Dodds Avenue, 423-622-9995.
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The Cornish Family of Georgia

Posted at 11:02pm
Dear Shelba, Derrica & Family.

Grace and peace to you in Jesus' name.

Please accept our condolences on the loss of your beloved James.

Praying for your peace, comfort, and strength. We love ❤ you all.


Posted at 08:41am
What's understood doesn't need explaining. Rest well my friend.

Maeola Andrews Shropshire

Posted at 10:18am
Shelba and Derrica. You and your family are in my prayers. I pray God give you comfort. James Jr. was a loving son, and brother. I chatted with him and he loved you Shelba. I pray for the family, his wife and nieces. The Shropshire Family love all of you.

Anthony Gladden Posted at 09:01am

I will me you forever King!! You were the true definition of Brother!! Rest Eternally Champ!!

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