Died: Fri., Dec. 4, 2020


10:00 AM to 11:00 AM, Sat., Dec. 19, 2020
Location: Barnes United Methodist Church

Celebration of Life

11:00 AM Sat., Dec. 19, 2020
Location: Barnes United Methodist Church

Print Obituary   Home Page All Obituaries


James Lamar Sails (Sales) was born on May 3, 1944 in Jemison, Alabama.  He was the oldest of five children born to Reverend Joe and Willie Mae Sales. 

James attended Wynnton Hill Baptist Church and developed what would become a lifelong love for the Lord.

James was raised in Columbus, Georgia and completed his early education at Mother Mary Mission Catholic School in Phenix City, Alabama and Carver Heights Elementary and Middle Schools.

James was an outstanding football player at Spencer High School and graduated in 1962.  After graduating from high school, James enlisted in the United States Air Force.

While in the Air Force,  James was stationed in Berlin, Germany, where he served as a Telecommunications Specialist.  His love for sports led him to play football for the Air Force teams.  When James joined the Air Force, the spelling of his last name was permanently changed to Sails, due to a clerical error. James received an honorable discharge in 1966.

After leaving the Air Force, James pursued his higher education goals. He graduated from Knoxville College in Knoxville, Tennessee, where he earned a  Bachelor of Arts Degree in Sociology.  While at  Knoxville College, James met the love of his life and future wife, Karen Wooley.  He also joined the Beta Epsilon Chapter of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. in 1968. He became affectionately known by his fellow fraternity brothers as "Papa Sails". Later, James earned a Master’s Degree in Social Work from Indiana University and a second Master’s Degree in Urban Ministry from Martin University.

James united in Holy Matrimony with Karen on June 19, 1970, and moved to Indianapolis, Indiana. From this union, two beautiful daughters were born, Kimberli Denise and Jamie Nicole. 

James joined Karen and professed his faith in Christ and became a faithful member of Barnes United Methodist Church. James served as the Chairperson for Outreach Ministry and was a member of the United Methodist Men.  When James became ill, he did not allow his illness to prevent  him from serving others. James developed a Telephone and Card Ministry from home.  James faithfully called fellow church members, family and friends regularly to check on them and to offer prayer and  encouragement.  

James was employed as the Director of the Lighted School Program at IPS School #71, Hawthorne Community Center, and the City of Indianapolis. James was also employed as a social worker for the Christamore House and the Indianapolis Public Schools prior to retiring.

After retiring, for many years, James volunteered for the United Way HELPLINE.  He referred individuals and families to programs and services to assist with food, housing and utilities.

James enjoyed talking on the telephone, reading, family devotions, singing hymns and spirituals, cooking, and spending time with family and friends.

James Lamar Sails departed this earthly life on December 4, 2020.  He was preceded in death by his parents Reverend Joes Sales and Willie Mae Sales-Griffin and his sister, Rhonda Sue Brown.

He leaves to cherish his memory and legacy, his loving wife of 50 years, Karen D. Sails; daughters, Kimberli D. Smith, and Jamie N. Sails; granddaughter, Jocelyn N. Smith; siblings, Yusuf Salaam  (Khayriyyah), Ujjayyi Lifeflower (Michael Sales), Ruby N. Sales, and Shalonda Sales; special family, Cheryl Blankenship, Nancy Talbot; sisters and brothers-in-law, Ethelenor Washum, Joan Rogers, Kitty Tharpe (Mark), Forrest Wooley, Jr., Sammie Brown, and Michael Rogers; best friend, Clifford Gordon; and a host of nieces, nephews and cousins.


Humbly Submitted ………………………...…The Family


Click to send flowers using our local area florist
Direct website to florist ordering, saving on wire fees
View/Sign the Condolence Book

Click the button to generate a printable document containing all condolences submitted

Condolence Booklet

Mildred A. Guyse
   Posted Fri December 18, 2020
Karen Sails and Family,

Please know you and your family are in my thoughts and prayers.

Mildred A. Guyse

Nicole Lipscomb-King
   Posted Sat December 19, 2020
To My Dear Friend, Jamie, and the Sails family,

Sending my deepest condolences. My thoughts and prayers are with you at this time.

The King Family

Copyright © 2021 Stuart Mortuary, Inc. All Rights Reserved.    | Website by CFS |