James Emmett Primas, Jr., affectionately known as “Pete” by those closest to him, is remembered for his sense of humor. Not only did he keep his tight-knit family entertained, but a long list of classmates and acquaintances described “Primas,” as he was also referred to, as “fun to be around.” In recalling any event, he could make a story his own.
Pete was born December 16, 1958 to the late Gwendolyn Jones and James E. Primas, Sr., at the historic Freedman’s Hospital in Washington, D.C., part of Howard University. He was educated in D.C. Public Schools, attending both McKinley Tech High School and Theodore Roosevelt High School, respectively.
His Christian experience was developed through his love of family. In fact, his first comedic impersonation was that of his great uncle, the late Rev. Fred Ray, minister of Mount Olive Baptist Church in Woodbridge, Va. It was at this same church “down home” that he was officially baptized, like his father before him, James, Sr.
During his formative years, Pete attended Sunday School at Simpson-Hamline United Methodist Church, where his mother was a member, as well as his father’s church home of Second New St. Paul Baptist Church, both located in the District of Columbia.
During a visit in 1989 with his mother whom, after retirement, had relocated to Kansas City, Pete decided to make Kansas his home away from home. He remained a resident and valuable employee of the 7th Street Casino until his earthly departure on January 10, 2019.
He is survived by a son, Matthew Greene of Washington, D.C.; a daughter, Imani Primas-Ellis of Kansas City, Kansas; five grandchildren, Jamari Greene; London Greene and Madeline Greene of Prince Georges County, Maryland; and Amani Ellis and Kansas Ellis of Kansas City, Kansas; two sisters, Dr. Alma E. Buckner of Chicago, Illinois; and Deitra Primas Johnson of Atlanta, Georgia; numerous cherished cousins, friends and colleagues.
The family suggests that expressions of sympathy in the form of contributions to The American Cancer Society