James (Jim) Allnutt Cason, Jr., 86, passed away Sunday, November 24, 2013 in Harlingen, Texas.|
Jim was born on July 25, 1927 in Tallulah, LA to James Allnutt Cason and Mary Abernathy. He attended Patti Welder High School in Victoria, TX where he lettered in football, basketball and track. Given his athletic skills, at 16, Jim was invited to enroll into Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, LA where he lettered in football in 1944, 45, 46 and 47. In an LSU game verses Rice University in Houston, he set a record by scoring 3 touchdowns in under 5 minutes. In 1946 he and his team won the Southeast Conference Championship and played in the Cotton Bowl.
From LSU Jim went on to play professional football for many years. His career began with the San Francisco 49ers from 1948 until 1955 followed by the then Los Angeles Rams until 1957. He played both offense and defense and was selected All Pro in 1951 and 1954.
After his retirement from professional football, Jim became the sports director and popular television personality for KGBT TV in the 1960's and 70's in Harlingen, TX. He was also an insurance agent with Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance.
Jim was widely regarded as one of the most accomplished golfers in South Texas and won the prestigious Life Begins at Forty Golf Tournament in 1972 and 1979. In 2003 he was inducted into the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame with his good friend; the legendary quarterback Y.A. Tittle, presiding. On April 27, 2004 the Mayor of the City of Harlingen, Texas proclaimed it to be "Jim Cason Day" due the many accomplishments in his life. A ceremony was held and attended by hundreds of friends and admirers. In 2011 the James A. Cason Scholarship Endowment was created at LSU.
Jim was a longtime member of the Harlingen Country Club and the Harlingen Elks Lodge. He was an accomplished amateur golfer and a professional football pundit.
Jim is survived by a daughter, Becca Cason Thrash (John) of Houston, their daughter Meghan Thrash; a son, James Peter Cason (Kathy) of Burleson, their sons Jared Poole (Jamie) and Michael O'Brain (Teresa). Jim's great grandchildren Presley and Brady Poole, Joe and Iliana O' Brain; ex-wife and life friend, Betty Cason McIntosh of Harlingen; sister-in-law, Wanda "Kelly" McNamee; Meliss Marburger and favorite nephew and friend, Kyle Marburger of McAllen, TX. A predeceased sister, Jane Cason Southall and her children Michael Southall (deceased), Shelly Harrison, and Cason Southall, and their children: Michael, Stephen, Mackenzie and Rainey Southall and Ryan, Sean and Lindsey Harrison.
The family wishes to thank Rose de los Reyes, Jim's devoted friend and caretaker for her tireless devotion.
A memorial service to celebrate Jim's life will be held at Buck Ashcraft Funeral Home, 4:00 PM, Monday, December 2, 2013. There will be a reception following; venue to be announced after the service.
The family requests that those desiring to do so may make a memorial donation to: Best Buddies International, 100 SE Second Street, Suite 2200, Miami, FL 33131 or online at www.bestbuddies.org/donate in honor of Jim Cason. Alternatively, one can make a gift to James A. Cason Scholarship, LSU Foundation, 3838 West Lakeshore Drive, Baton Rouge, LA 70808.
You are invited to leave a condolence or memory at www.buckashcraft.com.
Arrangements are with Buck Ashcraft Funeral Home.
Published in Houston Chronicle on Nov. 28, 2013