Skip to main content

Tragic Passing of Gateway Student James James

Posted Date: 1/26/24 (1:26 PM)

Dear Students, Parents, and Community Members,

It is with deep sorrow and heavy hearts that we share the news of the passing of one of our beloved students. On Saturday, January 20, 2024, we lost James James, a junior at Gateway High School. We extend our condolences to the family, friends, and all those whose lives were touched by him.

James was in his junior year at Gateway High School. With his larger-than-life personality, James was the heart of every event. Renowned for his quick wit and humor, James was the go-to person for laughter among his close friends. James will be missed for his dynamic presence, artistic endeavors, and passion for card games.

James James

Tragedies like this remind us of the strength of our Bulldog community and the importance of coming together during times of adversity. We understand the pain and sorrow that this loss brings to our students, parents, and staff. To provide support during this challenging time, we have engaged a dedicated crisis team that is available to offer guidance, counseling, and assistance to those who need it.

As we navigate this difficult period, the Ottumwa Community School District has organized support services for both our students and staff. Our priority is to ensure that everyone who is impacted by this tragedy has access to the resources they require to cope and heal. If you or someone you know is in need of assistance during this difficult time, please call the Gateway school counseling office at 641-683-1342 or you may email If you feel more comfortable conversing over a phone call, via text, or chat, you may reach out to Your Life Iowa.

We ask that you keep James' family in your thoughts and prayers as they navigate through this unimaginable loss. Let us remember James for his sweet smile, positivity, humor, and creativity.

During times like these, the strength of our community shines through. Let us lean on each other for support and continue to uphold James' memory by being kind, respectful, and supportive of one another.


Michael McGrory, Superintendent

Aaron Ruff, Gateway High School Principal

Shelley Bramschreiber, Ottumwa High School Principal