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Dr. James M. Salem

Obituary Condolences

TUSCALOOSA Dr. James M. Salem, age 74, of Tuscaloosa, died July 6, 2012, at DCH Regional Medical Center. Services will be 11 a.m. Tuesday at Memory Chapel Funeral Home with Bill McDonald officiating and Memory Chapel Funeral Home, a Dignity Memorial Provider, directing. Visitation will be one hour prior to services at the funeral home.

He was preceded in death by his mother and father, Blanche and Carlton Salem, and brother, Robert of Delavan, Wis.

Survivors include his wife, Donna C. Salem; his daughters, Betsy Nolan (Kenneth) of Atlanta, Ga. and Jennifer Santoyo (Richard) of Dallas, Texas; his sons, Timothy Salem (Lisa) of Houston, Texas and Jon Salem of Jackson, Miss.; beloved pet, Matt, a golden retriever; and grandchildren, Ryan, Berkley, and Carson Nolan of Atlanta, Ga., Roman, Paul, and Sophia Santoyo of Dallas, Texas, and Noah, Brent, and Benjamin Salem of Houston, Texas.

Jim Salem was born in Delavan, Wisconsin on November 15, 1937. He excelled in athletics in high school, married junior high sweetheart Donna Carol McLernon in 1958, and began a fast-track education to college professor, earning a B.S. in English from the University of Wisconsin at La Crosse and a Ph.D. in English from Louisiana State University. His 43 year career at the University of Alabama was full of illustrious awards like the National Alumni Association's Outstanding Commitment to Teaching Award in 1998 and the Mary C. Turpie Award from the American Studies Association in 2007. His critically praised biographical and cultural study, “The Late Great Johnny Ace and the Transition from R&B to Rock ‘N' Roll” (University of Illinois Press) was a Ralph J. Gleason Music Book Award finalist. He was beloved by students, faculty, and staff.

His passions were reading, home-cooked meals, Alabama football, and vacations to the beach.

The family would like to express a special thanks to Dr. Leonard Jones III, Dr. Chester Boston, and the DCH 7th Floor nursing staff.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to American Studies Jim Salem Memorial Scholarship, The University of Alabama Department of American Studies, P.O. Box 870214, Tuscaloosa, AL 35487-0214.

Condolences may be offered at www.memorychapelfuneralhome.com.
Published in Tuscaloosa News on July 8, 2012
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