PLAINFIELD — A 22-year-old midshipman and Queen City native was found unresponsive while on leave from the U.S. Naval Academy.

While the cause of death is still being investigated, foul play is not suspected, according to authorities.

Vice Adm. Sean Buck, 63rd superintendent of the U.S. Naval Academy, said he is incredibly saddened by the death of Midshipman Michael Myles James, of Hiram, Georgia.

James, who was born at Muhlenberg Hospital in Plainfield, attended Cook School in Plainfield and played Cardinal Pop Warner football until he moved to Georgia. His mother, Stacey Welch, serves as the 4th Ward councilwoman in Plainfield.

Upon high school graduation, James attended the Naval Academy Prep School before being selected to the Naval Academy. He was a member of the 9th Company, an English major and played football.

James was beloved by his brothers and teammates, according to Ken Niumatalolo, head football coach at the Naval Academy.

A fellow midshipman described James as not only being the "class clown" with an infectious personality, but he was the type of man who had your back and reminded others to celebrate all aspects of life.

Funeral arrangements for James will be held this Friday, July 2nd at Shiloh Baptist Church, 515 West 4th Street, Plainfield, NJ 07063. Viewing begins at 9am with services to follow. Internment will be held immediately following at Hillside Cemetery, Woodland Avenue, Scotch Plains, NJ 07076.

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