Husband, Father and Friend
Loss is difficult. At one point in time or another, we all experience it. The loss of someone we care about - someone special, someone whose impact was unmeasurable- causes a loss of words and a somber heart. Our GLS family experienced such a loss on March 19th, 2022, when James Light, P.E. went home to be with the Lord.
James was a husband, a father and a friend. Working as an engineer at our Bryan office since April of 2016, he served not only as a project manager, but as the office handyman, mechanic, mentor, gardener, and dad-joke / story teller. With a name fit for who he was, James was a light to those around him, especially those who were blessed to work directly with him. He constantly shared stories of his life and the love of his wife Misty, and three children, Madison, Savannah and Austin.
We honor the life of James Light, P.E. - someone who was not just a co-worker or team member, but a true friend.
"I want to lead that James was my friend, in addition to a co-worker. Losing the person he was, is far greater than the equally brilliant engineer he was. There are several distinct items that come to mind when I think of James.
One, he knew something about a whole lot. He could be part of any conversation. This was the case with work whether it be utilities, streets, drainage, pumps, etc. But he could be a part of practically any topic. If he didn't know something or if someone asked him something, he would find out. I remember several times, he came into the office and said he researched a question someone had asked two days before and would have all kinds of information on it.
Two, he was very analytical but very practical. He would listen, observe and think through a design or construction issue, and develop a solution. He really enjoyed thinking through a design or analysis to develop a very practical solution.
Three, he is greatly missed!! He was always a "glass half full" person. No matter the situation, he would not get down or complain. He would always take a negative and find a way to make it a positive.
On a more personal level, he wouldn't let me get too stressed out. He and I would talk through whatever the issue at hand was and by the end, he would have me laughing about it. I'll always remember Monday mornings. He would come and always ask me how my weekend was and what I did. He genuinely cared about everyone here and was always interested in our lives. He was one of a kind and I miss him daily." - John Rusk
"I only had the pleasure of knowing James for six months. In that short time, two things were abundantly clear, he loved his family and he loved being an engineer. He took so much pride in each and every one of his projects. He also loved pranking his fellow co-workers and was such a good sport when he was the one being pranked. His laughter always put a smile on my face. James was the "Dad" of the office. He will be greatly missed and never forgotten." - Christy Morris
"I only knew James for a short time but always enjoyed his company, and for the 8 months I knew him, he never really seemed to be in a bad mood. He was generally someone who was a joy to be around and someone whose advice I trusted and respected. James had tons of life experience that he was willing to offer and share. I will miss our conversations and the joy he brought to the office.
My favorite memory with James was the day I shot and ate my first rabbit. The weekend started with several of the guys from work going to a friend's property for the weekend. This being an all guys weekend the boundaries of society were left at home. We all arrived Friday night after work and sat around the fire solving all the worlds problems in one evening. That night James and I shared a room. He told me that he snored, but it was probably closer to roaring. I was also amazed at how fast that man could fall asleep. The next day we all woke up, at least those who slept, and cooked breakfast and shot guns. That afternoon James rounded everyone up to shoot and eat squirrels for dinner. This was not something I did on a regular basis but being around James for just a small amount of time, he made it seem like it was perfectly normal to shoot and eat pretty much any animal. We ended up not having any luck with squirrels, but we were able to get a rabbit. James showed me how to clean and skin the rabbit, and by that evening James had a perfectly cooked rabbit. To my surprise, it was really good and has ended up being a story I have shared with many of my friends and family. I would like to thank the family for the time they gave us with James. The time spent with James that weekend has made memories that will last a lifetime." - Cole Christian
“James had a great heart. He was the kind of person you could call when your car was making weird noises, or you couldn’t open an old key fob to exchange the battery, or there was a water leak in the breakroom. (I asked him for help in each of those situations plus many more.) He never questioned when someone needed help, he always just stood, ready to serve. One time, when water overflowed from the toilet tank and left puddles on the bathroom floor, I walked up to his desk and said “Alright Fix It Felix, you’re up!” because at that point, he had fixed numerous things around the office. I held the door open to the ladies restroom for him as he went to check what the issue was and immediately he goes "WOW. I always wandered what y'alls bathroom looked like, it's so much nicer in here!" He proceeded to lift the cover off of the tank, flushed the commode and water shot out from a loose hose and soaked him, leaving a giant water stain on his shirt and jeans. I laughed out loud and said "I am SO glad I wasn't standing next to you when that happened!" I half expected him to be upset, but he burst out laughing and agreed that maybe he should have looked in the tank before flushing. After he fastened the hose back into place, and determined that the problem was resolved, he walked back into the office, got everyone's attention, and began telling them how he got drenched in toilet water. We were never short on laughter working with James. Whether something seemingly bad happened, he always turned it to look at the upside, and immediately turned the situation into a story that everyone could laugh at.
He was full of life, bringing joy and laughter to our office with stories of working at the mine, childhood memories, and time with his kids. Nothing meant more to him than his family, and he made sure everyone knew that. He proudly spoke of the accomplishments and interests that his kids had, and the things he did to enjoy those activities with them. He was one of a kind. We will never forget him.” - Jena Eulenfeld
“I’m thankful to have known and worked with James. The 4 years I knew him felt like much longer. Time just always flew by when working with James. Hearing about the projects he was working on at home and the life stories he would tell us, James always found a way of engaging you in conversation. He was strongly dedicated to his work, but always knew family came first.. and he made sure we were aware of it. He especially beamed when talking about his wife and kids. He will be greatly missed…” - Raul Cuevas
“I was lucky enough to get to know James over his time at GLS. We worked right beside each other the entire time. He always took the time to make everyone laugh, whether it was at some old story or just a simple office prank. He loved telling us his old stories from his days of “when I worked in Houston” or “back at the mine”. We heard those phrases so much, that we couldn’t help ourselves but to give him a hard time about it. Anytime I would come into work the day after I had been out, chances were that my mouse wasn’t going to work. James loved putting tape over the sensor just as a quick prank. I would always ask him for tips when it came to gardening, trees, or even chickens. He always had good advice for just about anything that you could think to ask him. I was fortunate enough to get to hang out with James and some other coworkers at the river last month. We spent the weekend down there just camping out, shooting guns and telling stories. He definitely shared some good stories on that trip. He was a great guy and a better friend. I will miss him.” - Dusty Eanes
“James was truly one of a kind. He was a proud father and husband. I will never forget the smile he would wear when talking about his family. I think one of my favorite memories of him was about a year ago when he asked me to laminate a piece of paper from his wallet, me thinking it was a fishing/hunting license, I said “sure, no problem”, but once I realized it was a beat-up piece of paper with a phone number on it, I had to ask him what the story was that went behind this. He then put the biggest smile on his face and said, “Aubri, I’ve been carrying this paper with me for over 20 years, it’s Misty’s original number she gave me.” He then told me how his wallet got wet over the weekend and he realized he didn’t want to ever lose or have the paper ruined. James was a hilarious story teller (most of which were true stories of him). Always full of facts, I would joke and say if I ever got to be on a game show, he’d be my phone-a-friend. James was a true friend, he would lend a listening ear, give advice, and just help when needed. He will be greatly missed by everyone he knew.” - Aubri Cotton
"There was never a dull moment when working with James. He always knew how to interject humor into the stressful moments. He will be missed." - Jennifer Sitton
"I always enjoyed James' stories of growing up and all the knowledge he gave me about engineering!" - Ysa Knowles
"James was a Renaissance man, who enjoyed growing things, working with his hands, learning about the world and trying to understand others. A conversation with James was always enlightening and pleasant. A natural mentor for his peers. A quote by Thomas Jefferson fitting of the man that James was: 'Those who labor in the earth are the chosen people of God, if ever He had a chosen people, whose breasts He has made His peculiar deposit for substantial and genuine virtue.'" - Joseph Garavito
"James has certainly left a hole in our day to day operations here at the Goodwin-Lasiter-Strong Bryan Office. His expertise will be missed.
On a personal note, I will miss the life stories James shared with us frequently, the most. He had a special way of telling them that made us feel as if we were there. James and I often passed back information on happenings at Hilltop Lakes and Normangee where we both made our homes. Guess I'll have to fix my rain gauge now, he always told me how many inches we got at Hilltop Lakes after a rain." - Randy Stephens