James Carr’s death has shocked many people in Sai Kung. The native of North Carolina with the deep voice and strong accent was usually seen around town holding hands with his little daughter, Bartlett. He was a regular at Resurrection Church, always side by side with Bartlett. Her birthday was yesterday and she turned six.
Chris Hanselman, one of the church’s band leaders, said, “He was a lovely man and it was a shock to all of us.”
James had been suffering from bladder cancer. Rev. Chris Ponniah said he had undergone reconstructive surgery of the bladder and appeared to be doing well. Then pain developed in his hip. The cancer had spread. Rev. Ponniah said James refused chemo therapy, his condition weakened and he died on Sunday morning.
The pastor said James was a quiet, reserved person, “but those he got to know became very close to him. You can see from all the Facebook postings that he was well loved.”
Roger Medcalf, Editor of SAI KUNG BUZZ, said, “I am saddened by the news. I chatted to James many many times including at the church. He was very friendly with an engaging manner and a ready smile. I was always struck by his strong Carolina accept and how inseparable he was with his daughter.”
Pastor Chris said James’ wife Angel wants a private memorial service at Tai Wai mortuary on September 18. The chapel there is small, but all James’ friends will be welcome. He will be cremated and Angel will take his ashes to Farmville, North Carolina, where the main funeral will be held.
“James was brought up in a Christian family,” Rev. Ponniah said. “He did voluntary service in the Peace Corps in many countries, eventually arriving in Hong Kong. Here he set up a teaching business. James drifted away from God for a time,” Chris said. “One day driving past the church he saw its sign and decided to come back. He loved his family very much and was very close to his daughter. He had a strong bond with her. His main concern was that she should get a good education.” The pastor said the church is looking at setting up a fund for Bartlett’s education. James’ wife and daughter are being supported by members of the “mini-church” he belonged to. These are Christian home groups initiated by Rev. Ponniah.