Mr. Dwight Mitchell Ijames, 58, was born in Iredell County, N.C., on May 10, 1965, to the late Milton Rankin and Jean Elizabeth McClelland. He departed this life on December 2, 2023, in Statesville, N.C.

“Mitch,” as he was affectionately known, was raised by his grandparents, Rev. Carlton P. McClelland and Laura Elizabeth McClelland. He graduated from North Iredell High School with the Class of 1983. He earned his associate degree in Sociology at Mitchell Community College, where he was a member of the FBLA and the SGA. Prior to his retirement, he was employed as a school bus driver with the Iredell County School System. He was a member of the Bethel Congregational Church and served in the Ministry of Music. His hobbies included playing the piano, reading, writing, and going for walks. His favorite places to visit were Martin Luther King Jr. Park in Statesville, N.C., and the beach. His favorite song was “Walk Around Heaven All Day,” and his favorite season was spring. In his own words, what life has meant to me: “The chance to experience all of God’s beautiful creation. The joy of the Lord and his majesty is my strength.”

In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his grandparents, Rev. Carlton P. McClelland and Laura Elizabeth McClelland.

He leaves to cherish the memory of his life his stepmother, Margaret Rankin; three brothers, Lawrence Ijames, Ryan Rankin, and Milton Rankin Jr.; three sisters, Dr. Sheila Ijames, Laura Ijames, and Michelle Rankin; two uncles, Pete McClelland and Henry McClelland; one niece, Nyiesha Graham; one nephew, Tavares Ijames; special friend, Shirah Rinehardt; and a host of other relatives and friends.

A Celebration of Life service will be held on Sunday, December 10, 2023, at 1:30 p.m. at Bethel Congregational Church. Visitation will be held from 1 to 1:30 p.m. at the church and burial will follow in the Belmont Cemetery.

Visit the Book of Memories for Mr. Ijames at

Rutledge and Bigham Funeral Home is serving the Ijames family.