Dr. James Butler James, Jr.
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James Butler James, Jr., a longtime resident of Athens, Georgia, passed away Saturday, November 23, 2013 at the age of 81.
Born March 9, 1932 in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, he was preceded in death by his parents, James Butler James, Sr. and Edith Raney James (Coleman), and his wife of 53 years, Joann Griswold James. He grew up in Murfreesboro where he graduated from Central High School in 1950. During his high school years, he played basketball and football, and served as a class officer each year. Following graduation, he earned a Bachelor of Science in Biology ('54) and a Master of Arts in School Administration ('59) from Middle Tennessee State University. In 1967, he completed his Doctor of Philosophy in Elementary Education at the University of Alabama, where he was awarded membership in Phi Beta Kappa Academic Honor Society. Dr. James also held professional membership in Phi Delta Kappa, Kappa Delta Pi, ASCD, National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, and Department of Elementary School Principals.
In the 1950s, he served in the National Guard and U.S. Army as a member of the Army of Occupation of Germany following World War II. He was trained as a medic at Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio, Texas before being stationed in Furth, Germany with the 39th Infantry Regiment, 9th Infantry Division.
Dr. James worked as an educator for 36 years beginning his career in the Murfreesboro City School system. He spent four years as a classroom teacher at Crichlow Elementary and four years as principal at Hobgood Elementary. After receiving his doctorate, he accepted an Assistant Professorship at the University of Georgia, where he taught graduate level classes in curriculum and school administration. In 1967, he was promoted to Assistant Dean in the College of Education. Following three years at UGA, on June 1, 1969, Dr. James was appointed Associate Executive Director of the Elementary Commission with the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. He had responsibility for coordinating the Commission's accreditation program, and working with state elementary committees and the Central Reviewing Committee in the annual accreditation process. His responsibilities also included working with the Committee on Standards in revising existing standards and developing new standards, and serving as a member of visiting committees and interim review teams throughout the 11-state southern region and nine countries in Central and South America. After 25 years of service, Dr. James retired on July 1, 1994.
Over the years he enjoyed managing and umpiring games of Little League baseball, coaching youth basketball, fishing, reading, playing bridge, bird watching, and following NY Yankees baseball and Crimson Tide football.
Survivors include daughters, Julie Williams and husband Mace of Watkinsville, GA, Sheri Brake and husband Ron of Eureka, MO, and Lisa Delgado and husband Mark of Athens, GA; son, John B. James and wife Maritza of Athens, GA; grandchildren, Justin and Kristin Brake, Matthew Williams, and Esteban and Sara Agudelo.
The family will receive friends Thursday, starting at 12:30 p.m., at Woodfin Memorial Chapel. Graveside services will follow at 2 p.m., at Evergreen Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that memorial donations be made to a
Woodfin Funeral Chapel
1488 LASCASSAS PIKE
Murfreesboro, TN 37130
Published in The Daily News Journal on Dec. 3, 2013