As more information was released Wednesday by the Arlington Heights Police Department, , about the murder-suicide of Roger and Angelita James, Angelita was remembered for her service at the American Legion in Des Plaines.
Angelita would always help, even if she wasn’t sure she could. That’s how Jo-Ellen Clawes, president of American Legion Auxiliary Unit 36 in Des Plaines, remembers her. Angelita was a chaplain in the Auxiliary, and, in addition to her duties as chaplain, helped set up, serve and clean up at many of the Legion’s functions.
Clawes said she does a lot of cooking for the members, and Angelita volunteered to help.
“She’d say, ‘Well I don’t know how to make that, but if you’ll give me the recipe, I’ll do it,” Clawes said. “And she was just always so willing to help.”
Roger was also involved in the organization, and became the post’s commander in July.
“I’m broken hearted, and there was hardly a day that went by that I didn’t talk to one or both of them,” Clawes said.
Angelita served as chaplain for the Auxiliary for two years, and was installed for her second year at the same time Roger was installed as commander, Clawes said.
As chaplain Angelita led prayers at the beginning and end of meetings, participated in a number of memorial services throughout the year and sent cards and memorial donations to the families of veterans when they died, Clawes said.
Clawes asked her to take the position when it opened, and Angelita said she didn’t know anything about it, but was willing to help.
“She was very shy, and wasn’t sure, and we had to really encourage her to get her to do these things because she felt like she didn’t know how to do it, or didn’t know what to say — but was very willing to do anything you asked her to,” Clawes said.
Angelita will be honored in three memorial services, Clawes said: once by her unit at the wake or funeral service, by the district and division in spring and by the state at the annual convention during the summer.
“She was just a kind, loving woman,” Clawes said.