Senator James Doyle McDuffie

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James Doyle McDuffie, age 85, passed away on Thursday, May 21, 2015 at Novant Health Presbyterian Medical Center, Charlotte, NC from complications of a stroke. He was born November 17, 1929 in Kannapolis,NC, one of five children born to James Dewey and Viola Cress McDuffie. His deceased siblings were Willie Durant (WD) McDuffie who during WWII survived the “Bataan Death March” in the Philippines. Elline, and Glenn who was recognized as the famous “Kissing Sailor” in Times Square at end of WWII. He graduated from J.W. Cannon High School in 1946 where he played on the basketball team. He also played on the Kannapolis YMCA travelling basketball team. He attended Pfeiffer College and Lenoir Rhyne College where he played basketball. Then, he transferred to Catawba College where he graduated. He joined the U.S. Air Force after college and was stationed in Denver, CO where he met his future bride, Darlene, on Easter Sunday at the hotel where she was working. He obtained his masters degree in history at the University of Denver. Jim and Darlene were married on the nationally televised “Bride and Groom” show which was broadcast live in those days. They moved to Charlotte in 1954 where Jim became a coach and teacher at Sedgefield Junior High. In 1956 Jim decided to become a State Farm insurance agent and was still an active agent for 59 years when he passed. Jim and Darlene traveled to Spain, Rome, England, Germany, Hawaii and many other places over the years with family and their State Farm friends. He was an active member of the Dowd YMCA for 40+ years where he played basketball until he was 68 years old. Jim was a member of Pritchard Memorial Baptist Church since 1956. He served on the Charlotte city council in the early 70s before being elected to the NC State Senate where he served five terms in the late 70s and 80s. He was also able to visit the White House twice and meet with Presidents Reagan and Bush. He was an avid lover of golf and basketball and was two time senior club champion at the former Kannapolis Country Club. He also had three “hole in ones” in his lifetime. He further competed in the senior games many times over the years and qualified for the nationals in golf twice winning a bronze and silver medal. He was an original stockholder at the Charlotte Motor Speedway. He loved attending major sporting events including the Carolina Panthers Super Bowl, ACC basketball tournaments, NCAA championships, US Open Golf, and regular season games of the Carolina Panthers, UNC Charlotte, Davidson basketball where he was season ticket holder. Jim loved life and lived it to its fullest. He was very proud of his family, loved the Lord, his friends, and his years with State Farm. In addition to his parents and siblings, Jim is preceded in death by his wife, Darlene in 2008. A memorial service to celebrate his life will be held at 1:00 PM Friday, May 29, 2015 at Pritchard Memorial Baptist Church, Charlotte, NC officiated by Rev. Bobby Morrow and Dr. Stanley Spence. Burial will be private for the family at Sharon Memorial Park, Charlotte, NC. The family will receive friends from 6:00 to 8:00 PM Thursday, May 28, 2015 at Pritchard Memorial Baptist Church, Charlotte, NC. The family will also receive friends after the memorial service at the church. Surviving are his four children and their spouses; David and Donna McDuffie (their children Abby & Katie), Mark and Beth McDuffie (their children Brett and Cameron), Patricia Smith and husband, Sterling (their children Ryan & Kelsey), and John and Jennifer McDuffie (their children Hunter & Nicholas); one brother, Frank McDuffie of Georgia who also served in the U.S. Navy; and his special friend and companion, Juline Smith of Mooresville, NC. In lieu of flowers memorial donations may be made to Catawba College Athletics, 2300 W. Innes St., Salisbury, NC 28144 or Pfeiffer University Athletics, 48380 US Hwy 52, PO Box 960, Misenheimer, NC 28109. On-line condolences may be left at, Kannapolis, NC who is serving the family.
Funeral Home
Whitley's Funeral Home
1748 Dale Earnhardt Blvd
Kannapolis, NC 28083
(704) 933-2222
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Published in Salisbury Post on May 24, 2015
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