James was a long-time employee in the Road Department, beginning his career in 1985 before working his way up to manager in 2004.
The Bolivar County Board of Supervisors is in the process of finding the department's next leader, said board President Eddie Andrew Williams.
"We will certainly miss David's expertise but we are advertising and accepting resumes for his replacement," said Williams. "The deadline for resumes is Nov. 5."
County Administrator Will Hooker echoed Williams's praise for James.
"We know that things won't be the same now that we've lost someone valuable like David," said Hooker. "He was an integral part of the Bolivar County team, and of course, his loss is not easily absorbed.
"He had such an extensive knowledge of our roads, and he was a man of great work ethic."
Williams said Assistant Road Manager Lee Chapman would handle day-to-day operations of the department until a decision for the new manager is made.
"Lee has done a great job handling responsibilities to this point," said Williams. "He's provided detailed reports to the board as needed."
The county will consider internal and external applicants with a minimum of three years supervisory experience in road and bridge maintenance and construction.
Letters of application and resumes can be sent to: Bolivar County Road Manager Search, c/o Linda F. Coleman, Esq., Post Office Box 667, Cleveland, MS 38732.