ForeverMissed
Dr. James Gicheha Njengere, our dearly beloved Father was involved in a fatal car crash on 19th of March 2020. This happened in Baldwin County, Alabama as he traveled to Atlanta, with the intention to deliver books and other goods destined for his coutry of birth, Kenya. The busy man that he was, Dad has been active doing what he loves, teaching, up to the last moments of his life. We appreciate your thoughts and prayers in this difficult period and give Gratitude for an incredible man’s life. Go in peace Daddy.

If you have stories and testimonies to share, please do so in the section "Stories" in the tab above. It would also be wonderful if you can upload photos. For your words of solidarity, wishes and condolences, you can use the section below.

To meet the costs associated with sending the body to Kenya to allow James' family to say goodbye, the family has started a fundraiser. The Kenyan community in Mobile is coordinating in a WhatsApp group (you can let us know if you would like to be added to the group), and there is also a GoFundMe page that you can access here

Posted by Philip Mwangi on March 24, 2020
A few times I witnessed Dr. James interact with students at the Arkansas school of math and science at Hot springs in Arkansas. He cared and loved those students as his own children and the reason he was revered by every student he taught and envied by his peers. Be it in Kenya or here in the USA, he was the best teacher/lecturer to have set foot in the classroom in our generation. He was known to teach at the school of math and science but he also lectured at Henderson University in Arkansas before he moved to Alabama. He was God fearing and loving father and was gracious enough to represent me as the father of the pride during my daughter' wedding two and half years ago. He never turned anybody down who needed his help. He was one of those few people who come once in a generation. When we lose our loved one we get angry at God and rightfully so, but this reminds us that our lives belong to God and he takes us at His time. May God bless the family he left behind. Amen
Posted by Diane Gerard on March 24, 2020
I have many happy memories of James Njengere. One day he was dealing with his car that had a dead battery and he was just accepting it as just part of life and patiently waiting for a tow truck. Another time he sat next to me at a Black and White dinner and asked why didn't more of the retired faculty come to graduation. I remember asking myself the same thing. Another time he and his wife were at Garvin Wattuhewa's home and we started laughing over one of his stories. I saw him many days bringing boxes of stuff related to his classes from his car into school and from school into his car. He was tireless but so proud of his students and he was so committed to the Science Fair. I will miss him and his memories of hunting in Kenya. He so loved the country of his birth. I hope he makes his journey home safely.
Posted by Katrina Thompson on March 24, 2020
Dr. James was a very special person. He remained respectful at all times yet warm. He was brilliant yet humble. He was a team player yet one of a kind. These characteristics best describe Dr. James in my opinion. Dr. James radiant smile will be sorely missed at the Alabama School of Math and Science. We take solace in that his faith carried him to a place of eternal rest.
Posted by John Hoyle on March 24, 2020
Dr. James and I began working at ASMS at the same time. During those 15 years, he consistently proved to be a good, kind man who placed the needs of others before his own. I want to share two very recent memories:

1. I recently observed him teaching a lesson on how to dissect frogs. It was excellent. He was animated and enthusiastic about what he was teaching, and his joy translated to his students. They hung on every word and followed his instructions with liveliness. He was electric that day, and it was fun and inspiring to see him in action within his element. I believe I saw him at his best that day, and I will always remember it.

2. The school recently closed down because of the COVID-19 virus. James recently emailed me to ask for permission to visit the campus for a few moments to collect and examine plant specimens so that a student's science fair project research could continue. This was an example of how unselfish he was as a person and teacher. Even during this challenging time, he put his student's needs before his own.

We will miss Dr. James at ASMS! May he find his way back home to Kenya and rest in eternal peace. Dr. James will most assuredly be remembered fondly by his ASMS family.
Posted by George Njuguna on March 24, 2020
I vividly recall that
Dec 2005,when Dad travelled back to Kenya together with Ethan Helm.Of utmost important Dad loved and believed in God wholeheartedly,every morning and evening he could lead us in singing those beautiful hymns/reading the bible and that one great evening he led me to christ.Having stayed in USA for that long he never despised his mother tongue,he spoke it fluently.He loved running.He could wake up very early in the morning and run for few kms.
It could be injustice failing to mention that road trip on that dusty road to Elementaita to visit his relatives.Visiting Nakuru national park and Moi high school Kabarak.etc.Dad was more than generous.He was always ready to offer a helping hand.Can't forget to mention that beautiful pair of shoe he brought for me from US.

Shine on your way Dad till we meet Again...






Posted by Karen Palazzini on March 24, 2020
Dr. James was my 'floor mate' for many years at ASMS meaning we saw one another daily through the ebbs and flows of school life. We would share the excitement of a new school year, complaints about technical difficulties, happiness of sport team wins and student athleticism, laughter after another opening of sheep 'parts' whose smell permeated the entire floor - all the ordinary joys of ASMS school life. Part of him may be on the other side but part of him will always be with me.
Posted by Ken Robinson on March 24, 2020
Dr. James was a beautiful soul. Whenever you saw him he always had a warm smile and kind words to greet you with. Just like his faith, his love and concern for others was truly genuine. He will be missed by so many, but we rest in the assurance that he is truly home.
Posted by Thomas Gaillard on March 23, 2020
Dr. James was a great friend and colleague. I knew he was in the printer room because any time he came in he was always singing! I was fortunate enough to be able to hear him teach because he often used my computer lab to assist the students. He loved to draw illustrations on my whiteboard and when I would teach the following period, all my dry erase markers had disappeared! :) He partnered with me in leading the Ignite group on campus. I always enjoyed the stories he shared with me and I know that he will be greatly missed. Rest in peace, Dr. James.

Grey Gaillard
Computer Science Instructor, ASMS
Posted by Meoshe Id-Deen on March 23, 2020
I’m going miss Dr. James so much. He started teaching at ASMS the last term of my senior year so I never had him as a teacher; however, he was a great colleague! He was so friendly and kind. He and I had gotten close this school year and had even planned to get together for lunch soon (when it was safe to do so). Dr. James was always eager to lend a helping hand and when I was sick, he even said he would drive to Daphne, pick up my test, make copies, and give the test to my students if I ever needed him to. He checked on me daily and often asked what he could do to help me! He was a great person and his students absolutely loved him! I’m so sad that I’ll never get to chat with him in my office or hear him singing down the hall again

My sincere condolences to Dr. James’ wife, children, and extended family ❤️
Posted by Elbread Roh on March 23, 2020
Dr. James was truly amazing, an amazing friend. When I would walk through the science hall, we would exchange friendly greetings. His kind, friendly personality shined throughout ASMS.
I had Dr. James for special projects, and we did many things relating to the Outdoors. He taught us so much stuff about wildlife, about outdoors, and about living in Kenya. During all of that, he was always making us smile and cracking up jokes! Dr. James was very thoughtful about many things, and very passionate too. He did not think it was fair that actors and sports players got lots of praise when the true heroes of society didn't. He would mention to us new people like Rachel Carson who impacted the world in a vastly positive way. Now, I sincerely hope that Dr. James goes down as being remembered as a hero, as someone who was such a kind, loving person, and a true educator.
Posted by Morrison Muleri on March 23, 2020
Dr. Njengere was an outstanding teacher and a great person across continents. We loved him greatly at Kabarak High School in Kenya in 1986-87 when he was our Christian Union Club Patron and Biology teacher. I finally graduated and joined the workforce and eventually came to Washington D.C in 2006. I have since toured Alabama several times without knowing he had settled there. It is so sad to lose him but we take solace that he was a strong believer. Alabama, he was our great teacher in Kenya before he became your great teacher, and now heaven has yet another angel. RIP teacher!
Posted by Rachel Broyles on March 23, 2020
Dr.James was such an amazing person and teacher. He helped me through a lot of difficult times education wise and personally. A day I’ll never forget is when he threw me and Merit a party for my Birthday and Merit’s last day of exchange. I couldn’t go home for a party because of exams and it was my first birthday away from home. I will never forget his kindness and love for his job and students.
Posted by Tuwei Kalya on March 22, 2020
Mwalimu as I fondly addressed him epitomized the true spirit of servitude always offering to help everyone and anyone. I was honored to be his student in Nakuru High School, Kabarak High School, Egerton University and eventually joined him at Louisiana State University as students. If biology was taught in nursery and primary school, he probably would have been my teacher. Hands down the BEST! Biology teacher there ever was but even a better and loving person. We take comfort knowing that he loved and served the Lord so he is at home now with the one he loved the most. I have so many wonderful memories and stories. To the immediate family, loved ones and friends may the peace and comfort of the Lord that passes all understanding surround each of you. Bro James is in paradise and as we reflect on the great memories, Gods name is glorified in each thought. As family and friends are hurting right now since we all miss him dearly and it’s ok to express our emotions but rest assured Jesus is on the throne and the Holy Spirit will wipe our tears and give you good cheer because we know that we shall be reunited with our beloved Mwalimu soon and very soon.

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Recent Tributes
Posted by Philip Mwangi on March 24, 2020
A few times I witnessed Dr. James interact with students at the Arkansas school of math and science at Hot springs in Arkansas. He cared and loved those students as his own children and the reason he was revered by every student he taught and envied by his peers. Be it in Kenya or here in the USA, he was the best teacher/lecturer to have set foot in the classroom in our generation. He was known to teach at the school of math and science but he also lectured at Henderson University in Arkansas before he moved to Alabama. He was God fearing and loving father and was gracious enough to represent me as the father of the pride during my daughter' wedding two and half years ago. He never turned anybody down who needed his help. He was one of those few people who come once in a generation. When we lose our loved one we get angry at God and rightfully so, but this reminds us that our lives belong to God and he takes us at His time. May God bless the family he left behind. Amen
Posted by Diane Gerard on March 24, 2020
I have many happy memories of James Njengere. One day he was dealing with his car that had a dead battery and he was just accepting it as just part of life and patiently waiting for a tow truck. Another time he sat next to me at a Black and White dinner and asked why didn't more of the retired faculty come to graduation. I remember asking myself the same thing. Another time he and his wife were at Garvin Wattuhewa's home and we started laughing over one of his stories. I saw him many days bringing boxes of stuff related to his classes from his car into school and from school into his car. He was tireless but so proud of his students and he was so committed to the Science Fair. I will miss him and his memories of hunting in Kenya. He so loved the country of his birth. I hope he makes his journey home safely.
Posted by Katrina Thompson on March 24, 2020
Dr. James was a very special person. He remained respectful at all times yet warm. He was brilliant yet humble. He was a team player yet one of a kind. These characteristics best describe Dr. James in my opinion. Dr. James radiant smile will be sorely missed at the Alabama School of Math and Science. We take solace in that his faith carried him to a place of eternal rest.
his Life

The Life of Dr. James

We will add the story of Dr. James' life here shortly.
Recent stories
Shared by Matthew Blevins on March 24, 2020
Dr. James gave me a love for Biology and an appreciation for life. He was a true man of God, and would always be singing hymns when I would visit him after class. I had the good fortune to be in his classes since my first day at ASMS, and have taken nearly all the classes he taught plus his special project. In my time in these classes, I learned so much about Biology, but the most valuable lessons he gave all of us was about life. He would love to tell us stories about everything from his childhood to his time teaching. You could always tell how hard he worked to change his students lives for the better, and how much he cared for everyone around him. He always went the extra mile for us and was willing to help with whatever. I still have the video from when I interviewed him for a different class, but like always he was happy to help. Dr. James was one of the best teachers I have ever had and gave something to all his students that goes far beyond the classroom.
Shared by Caroline Nelson on March 23, 2020
Dr. James was one of the best men on this planet, and definitely one of the very best people I will ever know. I've only known him for about a year now I guess, but he has made one of the biggest impacts on my life. Both Zoology classes I had with him, I did not originally intend to be placed in, but I think God had something different in mind and wanted me to meet Dr. James. He always was kind to every single person he met, and I will never forget the four or five minutes I would come to class early and we would sit and talk about our lives, my future, his past students, or he would just sing hymns. I will really miss hearing his stories and being in a class with him. He put others needs above all else, and he will forever inspire me on how I should live. I'm forever thankful that I met him, and I will never forget the impact he has had on me. I know he is finally at peace now, and Heaven gained a great man.

Our beloved teacher!

Shared by Morrison Muleri on March 23, 2020
Dr. Njengere was an outstanding teacher and a great person across continents. We loved him greatly at Kabarak High School in Kenya in 1986-87 when he was our Christian Union Club Patron and Biology teacher. I finally graduated and joined the workforce and eventually came to Washington D.C in 2006. I have since toured Alabama several times without knowing he had settled there. It is so sad to lose him but we take solace that he was a strong believer. Alabama, he was our great teacher in Kenya before he became your great teacher, and now heaven has yet another angel. RIP teacher!