The Extraordinary Life of James Lenard Vanzant The Extraordinary Life of James Lenard Vanzant


James Lenard Vanzant, was born June 25, 1966, to Lavarne and Jewel Vanzant. He was the only boy and the youngest of three children. He accepted Christ as his Lord and Savior at an early age. His mother believed that he had a calling on his life to preach the gospel because he would often create a podium and preach to his sisters. James grew up in Del Paso Heights (DPH) and attended Grant Union High School (Pacer for Life). He loved his community and was proud to tell everyone that he was from the Heights. During his formative years, he enjoyed spending time with his childhood friends and visiting his parents’ restaurant, Billy Boy’s, which was located in South Sacramento. He looked forward to visits from his cousin Connectis Guiton of Oakland, CA. James and Connectis always considered each other as brothers, and they had a bond that could not be broken.

In 1988, James was blessed with his first child, Sequoia Vanzant. In 1990, he married his close friend Brenda Herod and to this union two daughters were born: Kalyn and Jordan Vanzant, and he raised Matthew Loggins as his own son. In 2007, he married Rozelle Aceves and to this union one son was born: James Tyler Aceves Vanzant, and he raised Justice and Cecilia Aceves as his own children.

James was a wonderful and dedicated father. He was an official “girls dad” who constantly had his camera in hand taking pictures or recording his daughters. As much as he loved being a “girls dad,” in 2005 he was blessed with his first son (James Tyler Aceves Vanzant). James took Tyler under his wings teaching him the ropes of life by setting an example on how to be “the best man he could be.” James loved to spend time with his children and found joy in sending them corny jokes throughout the day. He also enjoyed spending time with his grandchildren and was excited when he knew they were coming to visit. He instilled lifelong lessons in each of his children that they will forever cherish.

At the age of sixteen, James’s first job was at McDonalds, where he worked alongside his cousin Angela Lyons. Due to his great charm, personality, and talent, he was quickly trained for a management position. Soon after, he was employed by Alhambra Water. In 1995, he started his career in car sales, which truly became his calling: he could sell ice to an Eskimo. James had the pleasure of working with many dealerships between Sacramento and the Bay area: Corporate Motors; Autowest Honda; Momentum Auto Group Fairfield; Turner Volvo; Maita Honda; Hanlees Davis Chevrolet; Sacramento Chrysler Jeep Ram (Nor Cal Auto Group) and Elk Grove Volkswagen. From 2017-2021, James was the General Sales Manager for Folsom Hyundai. He loved his job and taught many young men the intricate details of the car sales business and encouraged them to be their best. His co-workers enjoyed being in his presence and learning from one whom many considered to be the best in the business.

James had many hobbies. One of his most favorite was his love for music. He would frequently post photos and videos of himself relaxing in his backyard while listening to great music and enjoying a cigar. James loved electronics and prided himself in having the top-of-the-line equipment. He considered himself a rapper and went by the name of “MC Dad” the DJ, producing music that he would send to friends and family. His eclectic record collection included everything from Jazz, Blues, Old School R&B, Soul and Pop. He often referred to his home studio as “The Man Cave” where he spent a lot of time deejaying with his son and great nephews. James loved having DJ battles with his nephew Troychae Kirby. He also loved riding his Harley Davidson motorcycle and attending Bike Night on Thursdays in Sacramento. He had a passion for baking and exhibited great skills. Many who tried his baked goods considered his 7-Up cake and peach cobbler to be one of his specialties. James was stylish from head to toe, and often wore tailored suits accompanied by designer watches and name brand shoes. On his days off, he would be found casually wearing Adidas or his Harley Davidson gear.

James was friends with many jazz musicians, locally and well known. This prompted him to host “Jazz Night” at local venues for the adult crowd in Sacramento. His spirit and charm were immeasurable. When he walked into the room, he took charge, and everyone had a good time.

He leaves to cherish his memories: Four daughters; Sequoia Vanzant, Kalyn Vanzant (Ronnie Lea, Jr.), Jordan Vanzant (Luis Alvarenga) (Bronx, NY) and Cecilia Aceves Terrell (Middletown, NY); three sons: James Tyler Aceves Vanzant, Justice Aceves Terrell and Matthew Loggins. Two grandchildren: Justice and Julianna Aceves, and one goddaughter: Aaliyah Jones. Two sisters: Belinda Cunningham (William Cunningham) and Regina Vanzant. One nephew: Troychae Kirby, one great-niece: Olivia Kirby and two great-nephews: Jordan and Jaiden Kirby all of Los Angeles, CA; one special niece: Olivia Barge, and a host of cousins, relatives, and friends.

He was preceded in death by both parents, with his mother passing away just two months ago. God knew that she would not be able to endure this pain.

James will forever be remembered as the world’s best brother, father, uncle, grandpa, protector, superhero, and now a guardian angel.

He will truly be missed by all who knew him.