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James Jordan BYNUM Jr.


1934 - 2017 Obituary Condolences
BYNUM, Jr., James Jordan James Jordan Bynum, Jr. died peacefully December 8, 2017 at Presbyterian Village Health Care Center in Austell, Georgia. His beloved wife of 59 years, Jean, was at his side. Jim was born October 4, 1934, in Raleigh, North Carolina to James Jordan Bynum and Evelyn Vining Bynum. Jim's father's death, just after the Normandy invasion during WWII, was a blow from which Jim never completely recovered. Jim graduated from Needham Broughton High School in Raleigh in 1953 and went on to earn his BA-English from University of North Carolina Chapel Hill in 1957. While at Carolina, he ran track, played soccer, joined Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity, was elected head cheerleader and appointed Battalion Commander of the Naval ROTC. He met Jean Davis, a student at Duke University, there; and they married in 1958. Two years of active duty in the Marine Corps at Camp LeJeune, then six as a reserve officer (highest rank-captain) ensued. Jim returned to Carolina for an MA-English (1961), and earned a PhD-English (1972) at Emory University in Atlanta. In 1961, he accepted a teaching position in the English Department (later known as Department of Literature, Communication, and Culture) at the Georgia Institute of Technology. He spent most of his 41 years there doing "missionary work by teaching English to the engineers," sharing not only Shakespeare with them, but also Tolkien, Lewis, Frost, and film. For eight years he worked in the Graduate Division, reading theses and dissertations, eventually succeeding to the position of Graduate Dean. For 31 years he served as a Resident Hall Advisor, living with his family in apartments in Brown and Glenn dorms. He was on the Athletic Board, Student Center Board, and Publication Board, and was a member of Omicron Delta Kappa and ANAK honorary societies. A longtime member of First Presbyterian Church, he was a member of the Open Door class and for many years taught the college class. Jim enjoyed reading, writing poetry, woodworking, and fixing broken things. He was blessed with extraordinary vision and memory, and a kind and caring heart. He loved his family, the Lord, teaching, and Georgia Tech. He will be sorely missed by his wife Jean; children, Jim III (Laura), Gordon (Amy), and Carlisle; granddaughters, Hays, Caroline, and Louisa; his sister, Mary Garris (Mark) and nephew Edward Garris. A memorial service will be held December 21 at 2 P.M. in the sanctuary of First Presbyterian Church, Atlanta. A reception in Fifield Hall follows. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to Caring Hands Fund of Presbyterian Homes of Georgia (2000 East West Connector, Austell, Georgia, 30106), First Presbyterian Church, or Georgia Institute of Technology.
Published in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution from Dec. 17 to Dec. 20, 2017
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