COLUMBUS, Ga.(WRBL)– The City of Columbus mourns the loss of long-term Elections Specialist Jeanette James.

James died Tuesday afternoon at around 2:15 at the age of 72. Her sister Cheryl Sapp says James died from a recent illness after having survived lung cancer. She spoke to WRBL News Three about how she wants her sister to be remembered.

“Wow, that’s a loaded question. Jeanette was one of a kind, she was a rare breed. She was the type of person that anybody would love to be around. We spent many great days right here in this particular room. She was high energy when she smiled or she was in the room everybody else was smiling,” Sapp said.

Longtime friend and supervisor, Nancy Boren, told News 3 how much James meant to her.

Jeanette and I took a chance with each other and out of that chance grew an amazing relationship of loyalty, trust and value. She valued me as her friend, someone willing to take a chance on her. I valued her love for me and her job. She never met a challenge she couldn’t overcome. She loved the people of this community and served them each day with the same zeal she lived her life. 

James and her sister Sapp were recently united in Columbus with their baby sister Diana, who disappeared shortly after birth, a union captured on camera by WRBL News 3.

Sapp told News 3 her sister was an inspiration for everyone.

“She’s an inspiration to anybody that kind of thought they couldn’t make it or people said they couldn’t make it. A lot of times you hear people say ‘you’re never going to amount to anything.’ You know you grow up in families where people kind of put you in that cast system. Well, Jeanette was a fighter. She showed that it doesn’t matter how you start or where you start, it’s how you finish,” Sapp said.

Arrangements are being handled by Taylor Funeral Home in Phenix City, with the tentative date of Tuesday, June 1. Flowers can be sent to Taylor or you can make a donation to the American Cancer Society in memory of Jeanette James.