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James KORTAN


1935 - 2017 Obituary Condolences
James KORTAN Obituary
KORTAN, James Francis James Francis Kortan, Architect, FAIA 1935-2017 Jim Kortan arrived in the South just as the area was entering an unprecedented boom. The Cleveland, Ohio native obtained a Bachelor of Arts in Architecture at Clemson University in South Carolina after acquiring a Fine Arts degree at Ohio University and serving as a Naval officer and a Explosive Ordinance Disposal (EOD) diver. It was during this time period, while living in Charleston, SC, that he met Sylvia Holloway of Greenwood, SC and arguably the best move he ever made was to become her husband of 57 years. Before coming to Atlanta, Jim was a valued designer for the Columbia, SC firm, Lyles, Bissett, Carlisle and Wolf. Jim liked to say that his 1968 arrival at Atlanta's Stevens & Wilkinson Architects and Engineers started with a bang. The venerable firm had acquired major commissions including the Midfield Terminal for the then Hartsfield Atlanta Airport. When his Clemson classmate Kemp Mooney recruited him for Stevens & Wilkinson, partner James Wilkinson pointed up the street to the almost finished Equitable Building where the firm planned to move. At that moment the top of the Equitable Building exploded in smoke. Jim related that he had a moment of second thoughts but his career became as exciting as that first vision. A brilliant designer, Jim created the giant expansion of the Georgia Baptist Hospital in the nineteen sixties soon followed by the tallest building in Oklahoma, the Citgo Tower in Tulsa. His responsibilities vastly increased as he later guided the firm to ever increasing prestige as President and Chairman of the Board. Jim's sense of humor was a constant joy to all and his devotion to art was foremost of his interests and he and Sylvia enjoyed collecting American craft, modern, and folk art. He maintained positions on several art organization's boards and was a long time member of the Buckhead Lions Club. James Kortan was the only son of Joseph Francis and Gertrude Carr Kortan of Cleveland, both deceased. He is survived by his wife, Sylvia Holloway Kortan, daughter Carr McCuiston and her husband, Chip and grandsons Callan and Jake. Jim is predeceased by daughter Holley Jean Kortan Sandri and her husband Michael. The family sends heartfelt thanks to all the PALS and staff at Belmont Village Senior Living Buckhead, and to Prinita and Margaret at Homestead Hospice for all their help and care. Special thanks are due to Fire Station NO. 26. In lieu of flowers donations in Jim's honor to the Clemson Architectural Foundation(CAF) or the would be appreciated. Clemson Architectural Foundation Sr. Director of Development 3-119 Lee Hall Clemson, South Carolina 29634 615-403-1987 [email protected] https://www.clemson.edu/caah/departments/clemson-architectural-foundation/giving/index.html. A Memorial Service will be held Wednesday, December 6 at 10:00 am Cathedral of Christ the King 2699 Peachtree Rd NE, Atlanta, GA 30305 Reception immediately following in the Ministry Building adjacent to the Sanctuary. A private family burial service will take place at Arlington Memorial Park.
Published in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Dec. 5, 2017
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