Lt. Col. Waites was born on March 16, 1952 in Mobile, Alabama to James and Inez Waites. He attended Robertsdale High School and graduated in 1970. He went on to attend the University of South Alabama graduating with a BS degree in Health, Physical Education and Recreation in 1974.
In 1972, he joined the U.S. Marine Corps on the PLC program and was assigned to the Marine Corps base camp in Lejeune, North Carolina. After graduating from flight school in 1976, he flew CH46 helicopters with HMM161 LTA Air Base Santa Anna, California and HMM 164 in Okinawa, Japan. Col. Waites went on to become a flight instructor at HT-18, NAS Whiting Field in Milton, Florida.
He is survived by his sons, James C. Waites, III and Daniel Scout Waites; his four grandchildren, Cole, Clara, Coleman, Major.
A visitation will be held at 5:00-7:00pm, Monday, July 24, 2017 and Funeral Service will be held at 11:00am, Tuesday, July 25, 2017 at Family Funeral & Cremation, 7253 Plantation Road, Pensacola, Florida with interment at Barrancas National Cemetery.