He was born Dec. 13, 1920 in Bedford to Foster Bastain and Lillie Augusta (Hartman) Bastain.
Survivors include his spouse, Berniece (Blanton) Bastain of Jasonville, whom he married on July 7, 1946; son and daughter-in-law, James E. and Margaret (Spaar) Bastain II of Indianapolis; grandchildren, Lori Rynard, Robert Bastain; great-grandchildren, Christopher and Ashley Bastain, Dustin and Skylair Bastain; great-great-grandchildren, William Scott Bastain, Madison Rose Bastain, Abigail Joy Bastain; sisters and brothers-in-law, Margaret Blanton of Linton, Pat and Edward Simon of Linton, Ann and Elmer Blanton of Beaverton, OR; brother-in-law, Robert L. Campbell of Carmel; nieces, Toni Davis and Margaret Ann Simon; and nephew, Edward and Terri Simon.
He was preceded in death by his parents; and sister, Mary Lee Bastain Campbell.
James graduated from Jasonville High School class of 1939. He was an Associate Conference Member of the United Methodist Church. He had many experiences in life including driving to California and back when he was 16, after his return he was required to get a beginners driver's license. He worked as a farmer nearly 12 years and at one time owned several horses. He worked at Pfizer's at the veterinarian and research center in Terre Haute. James was a U.S. Army Veteran of World War II serving as a medic in the European Theater.
In 1956 he became a United Methodist Minister and served until his retirement in 1985. He served at Glenburn, Nine Mile, Solsberry, Greene County Chapel, Walker Chapel along with three small churches, Cloverdale, Putnamville, Rose Chapel, Carlisle and retired from Versailles, Tyson Memorial United Methodist Church where he served his last 10 years. He also supervised and oversaw lay speakers. He was very popular with the children for the creative stories he told. His hobbies included cutting and polishing stones for use in jewelry and making stained glass decorative pieces and pictures.
Arrangements are entrusted to Michael W. Cox, Cox Funeral Home; 218 South Meridian Street; Jasonville, Indiana with visitation scheduled from 5-8 p.m. Friday at the funeral home and noon until service time Saturday at the Nine Mile Methodist Church, east of Lone Tree Road.
Funeral service is at 1 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 21, at the Nine Mile Methodist Church with Pastor John Pierce officiating.
Interment will be at K of P Cemetery in Hymera, following the service with military graveside rites.