James Francis Mangham

James Francis Mangham

James Francis Mangham, left this earth on December 12, 2023 after a short but valiant battle with cancer.

James was born September 26th 1957 in Lake City Florida.  He graduated from Winter Haven High School in 1975.  Sometime after graduation, he enlisted in the US Army and spent several years in the service in Germany, before ultimately settling down in Jacksonville.

James was a man who never met a stranger.  Easy to smile and utter a kind word. Always lending a helping hand should there be a need.  Didn’t matter if that need was for a perfect stranger, a wayward friend of one of his girls, a karting competitor or a valued friend.  He loved “big” and fiercely.  If you were once a friend, you were always a friend.

In 1985 he went into business for himself and started Mangham’s Painting Company.  He gained a well deserved reputation for his passion and dedication to both the detailed quality of his work, as well as his love for his clients and their homes. Many of those clients becoming lifelong treasured friends, who James truly considered part of his family.

In 2010, James left the painting business and with his wife, opened the restaurant Simply Sara’s.  His passion for everything in life carries over to this business as well.  Known to work harder than just about anyone, he found a love for food and cooking on a level he never knew he had.  Never known to back down from a challenge, James was always quick to say “yes” and then would work to figure out “how”.  Known for a giving heart, it was during these years that he and Sally became involved with The Healing Hearts Project, delivering dinners to families, staff and patients alike, whenever there was a need.  His walking the halls at Wolfson Children’s Hospital became so important to him over the years. It always reminded him to be grateful for all the blessings he had in his life. In 2018, he returned to painting with JFM Restorations, which will continue to carry on with his “son”, Josh.

James was loyal, selfless and passionate about all things in life, but especially his animals, friends and family.

He is survived by the love of his life for 39 years, Sally (Sara), his treasured daughters and his “sons”:  Meghann and Josh Chaney, Kaitlin and Marlon Francois and Kelsey and Censay Darilus.  The lights of his life, his grandchildren: Olivia, Hollis and Hazel Chaney and Marley and Kylan Francois.

He is also survived by his sister Rhonda Wainwright and her husband Randall as well as his brother Bill Mangham and his husband Will Runnebaum, along with numerous cousins, nieces and nephews.

A Celebration of Life service will be held at 2:00 pm on Friday, January 5th, 2024 at Evergreen Funeral Home Chapel, 4535 Main Street, Jacksonville, Florida 32206.  Visitation will begin at 1:30 and continue to the service.  Arrangements are under the direction and care of Evergreen Funeral Home – (904) 353-3649.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that you make a donation to The Healing Hearts Project.  Payments may be mailed to The Healing Hearts Project c/o Stacey Merritt, 1139 Emily’s Walk Lane West, Jacksonville, Florida 32221 or by using the link The Healing Hearts Project


  • Cindy Fort Posted January 2, 2024 4:51 pm

    I am grateful I met James and Sara many years ago at a neighborhood watch meeting. He was so kind and offered to help all who needed help or had fears. I later met them again at Simply Saras. James always had a big smile and a kind word. He was a man in constant motion and definitely a proud “Girl-Dad”! My thoughts and prayers to his Family.

  • Carlos and Amy Posted January 2, 2024 6:33 pm

    Donated. But honestly just sad when I heard the news.James was an amazing person at the restaurant

  • Dee Dee and Stephen Adams Posted January 2, 2024 7:51 pm

    This is beautiful! James was such a kind person. We met you guys at the restaurant and loved when it was slowing down for the night and he would come sit down at our table with us to chat for a few or you both would come out and sit down and have a bite to eat when we were there at the end of the night. So glad we met you both! James will be missed. The world was a better place because he was in it!

  • Margaret Day Julian Posted January 2, 2024 11:35 pm

    What an uplifting obituary! James had all of the good qualities mentioned. I live in the Ortega neighborhood where James and

  • Margaret Day Julian Posted January 2, 2024 11:55 pm

    What an uplifting obituary. James had ALL of the good qualities mentioned. James always greeted Simply Sara’s customers with a smile and waited tables/cooked/served when necessary. He truly cared for their customers. I remember one situation in particular. A regular customer did not show up one night. James and Sally found out where she lived and went to her house to see if she was alright. It was a pleasure to know James and it is comforting to know that his legacy carries on in his children and grandchildren. Many thanks to his devoted Sally, who cared for James, getting him the best of care and keeping friends and customers up-to-date on his condition. God’s blessing on all of the Mangham family during this time of grieving. Thank you.

  • Lauren Peckham Posted January 3, 2024 1:50 pm

    James had the biggest smile and was one of the nicest men I ever knew. It was always a joy to come by Simply Sara’s and see you all. I will miss those times. I hope you find healing. I know how difficult this time is. Sorry I’m not in Jacksonville to come and remember him with you. However no matter how far away I am, I am always thinking of you all. Lots of Love, Lauren

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