We are deeply sorry for your loss - the staff at Darling-Mouser Funeral Home
BROWNSVILLE, TX. – James W. Pace passed away on Sunday, the 12th of June 2022 in the comfort of his Brownsville residence. He was ninety-one years of age.
James was born in Brownsville, Texas on December 25, 1930, son of Zenobia Gilmore Pace and James W. Pace Sr. He lived in Brownsville until he moved to Dallas, Texas to attend Southern Methodist University (SMU). He obtained a B.A. cum laude in English in 1952. As a Rotary Scholar, he studied English Literature at the University of Durham in Durham, England. Upon returning to the United States, he enrolled in the School of Divinity at Yale University (YDS). He graduated in 1956 with a Master of Divinity (MDiv). He was the Yale Divinity School Class President for the Class of 1956.
As an ordained minister in the United Methodist Church, he then studied in Costa Rica to gain fluency in Spanish. He was sent to the eastern lowlands of Bolivia to establish the first Methodist Church in Montero, Santa Cruz, Bolivia. He spent ten years as a Methodist missionary in Bolivia, one of which was as executive secretary of the Methodist Church in Cochabamba.
Upon returning to the United States in 1966 with his family, he moved to St. Louis, Missouri to work as a political director and community organizer for the Teamsters Local 688. He formed the Tandy Area Council in North St. Louis to address residents’ needs and rights in public housing. In 1972, Pace returned to Brownsville, Texas where he worked for fifteen years for Pace Fish Company. Prior to retirement, he obtained his certification in secondary education teaching, and worked at the Simon Rivera High School in Brownsville, teaching English grammar and literature to low-income Latino students. He taught for eighteen years and retired at the age of eighty-one.
In 2018, he volunteered at the Good Neighbor Settlement House (GNSH) to help with the asylum seekers’ transition from their release by the Federal immigration authorities and courts. His volunteer work culminated in the publication of his first nonfiction work at the age of ninety-one titled: “Mother of Exiles: Interviews of Asylum Seekers at the Good Neighbor Settlement House, Brownsville, Texas," [St. Louis, 2022].
James is survived by his wife, Darlene Syring Pace; his brother, Pat L. Pace Sr. and sister-in-law, Mary Jo Pace; his seven children and stepchildren: James, Sarah, Rebecca Pace; Suzanne Pace Farias (Ricardo); Kathleen Gomez Felty (Dave); Scott Dallas; and Melanie Ostos Gonzalez (Hector); his grandchildren: Deanna E. Smith; Sonya Zubair (Adnan), Lara Gomez (Mike Clariett), Sam Gomez (Brittany); Stefan Gonzalez (Madison Naquin), and Rachel Gonzalez; his nieces and nephews: Kay Vinson, Shelley Stewart (Mike); Laurel Lee Friday; Cynthia Pace Allison (Robert), Mary Gay Wagner (Randy), Pat L. Pace Jr. (Beth), Anna Elizabeth Jobe (Kelly); Franklin Smith Dodd and Matthew Gilmore Dodd; and extended families.
He is predeceased by his parents, Zenobia Gilmore Pace and James W. Pace Sr.; his sisters, Betty Pace Dodd and Mozelle Pace Friday; his son, Richard Stephen Pace; and by his grandson, Antony Pace Farias.
The family would like to thank his doctor and friend, Dr. Ahmad Karkoutly, and his caretaker, Deysi Constantino.
The Celebration of his Life and Resurrection will be held at four o’clock in the afternoon this Thursday, the 16th of June 2022, at the First United Methodist Church, 1225 Boca Chica Boulevard, Brownsville, Texas 78520, (956) 546-5364.
In lieu of floral arrangements, memorial gifts may be made to the First United Methodist Church.
Memories of James may be shared at www.darlingmouser.com.
Personalized funeral arrangements directed by Steven R. Hieu Bailey and Staff have been entrusted to the care of Darling-Mouser Funeral Home at 945 Palm Boulevard in Brownsville, Texas 78520, (956) 546-7111.