James Kenneth (Jim ) Candler, 78, of Lynchburg, died Tuesday, September 17, 2013 at home. He was the husband of Sara Stephens Thomas Candler. Jim was born on May 31, 1935, in Salem, the son of the late Carlton and Lois Maye Candler. He was preceded in death by his first wife of 41 years, Maxine Cole Candler.
Following graduation from Andrew Lewis High School in Salem, Jim attended the University of Virginia where he excelled athletically and academically. He played offensive and defensive lineman for the varsity football team, was selected a resident dormitory counselor, was a member and president of Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity, served on the Student Council, and was a member of Skull and Keys, the Z Society, T.I.L.K.A., and Raven honorary societies. In 1958, Jim graduated from the University with a BA degree in Psychology and remained a loyal and dedicated alumnus.
In 1968, after 10 years employment with Exxon Company, USA, Jim established and became owner and president of Candler Oil Company, Inc. The business continues to be an important contributor to the Lynchburg area economy and, under the leadership of Jim and his family, received the National Exxon Award for Excellence in Quality, among numerous other awards.
Over the last four plus decades, Jim became the epitome of the community-oriented businessman. As a member of Peakland Baptist Church, Jim served as Treasurer, Member of the Congregational Council, and Chairman of Trustees. He was a Board Member of Amazement Square, Inc. since 1996 and a Board Member of Step-With- Links, Inc. since 1984. Jim was a member of the Board of Trustees of Centra Health, Inc. (formerly Virginia Baptist Hospital) from 1978 until 2010. As Chairman of the VBH Board from 1982 to 1986, played an instrumental role in the merger with Lynchburg General Hospital of Centra. He was a Board Member of Trigon Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Virginia (1994 to 2000).
Jim served on the Lynchburg City School Board for nine years, five years as Chairman, and the Lynchburg City Schools Education Foundation, Inc from 1991 -2010. He was a Board Member of the Commonwealth of Virginia Public Schools Authority (1987 to 1990) and the Commonwealth of Virginia Transportation Board (1990 to 1994).
Jim was a Member of the Board of the Salvation Army-Lynchburg (1984 to 2002) and The Greater Lynchburg Community Trust (1990 to 1998, Board Chairman 1997 to 1998). He was a Board Member of BB&T Lynchburg (formerly First Federal Savings Bank, 1994 to 2005) and BB&T of Virginia (formerly One Valley Bancorp, Inc., 1998 to 2005).
Jim was a Board Member of Virginia Petroleum, Convenience and Grocery Association (1992 to 2002, Bd. Chair 1998 to 1999) and Lynchburg Chapter National Conference of Christians and Jews (1986 to 1992).
For 55 years, Jim's loyalty, dedication and generosity to the University of Virginia distinguished him as "a leader among his peers." He was a member of the Board of Managers of the University Alumni Association (1986 to 1992, Bd. President 1989 to 1990 and Chairman of the Jefferson Scholars Advisory Committee 1987 to 1989) and served seven years on the Student Aid Foundation Board serving as President in 1984. Jim was Past President of the Lynchburg Chapter UVA Alumni Association, a reunion volunteer, and a member of the National Leadership Gifts Council, Athletics Advisory Council, and the Virginia Athletics Foundation Board of Trustees. During the University's Campaign of the 1990s, Jim served on the Campaign Executive Committee. He also served on the Jefferson Scholars Regional Selection Committee and the National Committee on University Resources. He was the ultimate Wahoo.
For his unselfish dedication, wisdom and compassion, Jim received many awards of recognition. He was the 1998 Hunton YMCA Community Service Honoree, 1990 Lynchburg Chapter National Conference of Christians and Jews Brotherhood Citation Honoree, 1990 Greater Lynchburg Chamber of Commerce Pro-Opera Civica Award Recipient, and the 1990 Lynchburg Bar Association Liberty Bell Award Recipient. Jim also received the University of Virginia Raven Society Distinguished Alumni Award in 1992 and in 1999 was named Virginia Oil Man of the Year by the VPCGA.
Jim is survived by his brother, Robert Carlton Candler (Bettye), of Salem; his son, James Cole Candler (Beth) and their children, Ashley Nichole Candler, James Wade Candler, and Abby Elizabeth Candler; and his daughter, Mary Kaye Candler Thomas (Lewis)and their children, Lewis Lamont Thomas II (Lindsay), Christopher Ryan Thomas, Timothy James Thomas (Alina) and Maria Grace Thomas. Surviving stepchildren are Michael Paul Thomas, Diana Lynn Thomas, and Allison Thomas Rose (Ian).
A memorial service for Jim will be held at 1 p.m. Friday, September 20, 2013, at Peakland Baptist Church by The Rev. Dr. Jim Hunter and The Rev. Nathan Brooks.
The family will receive friends from 6 to 8 p.m. on Thursday, September 19, 2013, at Heritage Funeral Service, 427 Graves Mill Road.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Amazement Square Inc. Annual Fund, 27 9th St., Lynchburg, VA 24504, Peakland Baptist Church, 4018 Peakland Place, Lynchburg, VA 24503 or the
Heritage Funeral Service and Crematory, 434-239-2405, is assisting the family. Memories and thoughts may be shared with the family at www.heritagefuneralandcremation.com