The Obit For Jack James

Jack Alexander James

Published in the Austin American-Statesman on 9/25/2008

Jack Alexander James With great sadness we announce the death of a dear father, grandfather and great-grandfather, Jack Alexander James, who was born January 24, 1919 in Yale, Oklahoma, the second son of Vernon and Sibyl James. He died September 21, 2008 in Austin, TX.

James was a dear friend to many and an inspiration to all who knew him. An intensely loyal man, he lived his belief that responsibility and reliability are the most important traits of a man.

After graduating from Branson High School, he attended Drury College in Springfield, MO where he excelled in basketball and baseball and met his wife, Margaret Lee Pahlow of Lamar, MO.

He was selected to All-MCAU Conference teams in 1938, 1939 and 1940 and selected to the all-Missouri basketball teams in 1938 and 1939. In 1997, James was inducted into the Drury College Sports Hall of Fame.

Upon receiving a degree in geology, he was a chemist with Atlas Powder Company. In 1944 he joined the United States Army, attaining the rank of First Lieutenant. After discharge, he attended Missouri School of Mines and Metallurgy where he received his PhD degree in geology in 1951. James spent the next 30 years as an exploration geologist, mining executive and consultant for various corporations in New York City.

In 1968 he founded Kurtz Materials Corporation of Ephrata, PA and served as President and Chairman until it was acquired by High Industries in 1977. He retired from High Industries as Vice Chairman in 1982 and remained on the Board of Directors until 1995.

He held board of director position with Copper Range Co, Northeastern Lumber Co, American Crane and Equipment Co, Morgan Corp, and Hamilton Bank of Reading PA.

He was a U.S. Goodwill Ambassador in China in 1982 and a trustee for Drury College from 1985 to 2000. James lived the majority of his childhood in Taney County, Missouri, and was a resident of Wyomissing, PA for 32 years. The past 8 years he lived at The Landing in Williamsburg, VA moving to Austin, TX in May 2008 to be closer to family.

He had a passion for golf, flying airplanes, baseball, basketball, and became computer savvy at the age of 80. When asked, he was an excellent teacher. In retirement, he extensively researched the genealogies of his families and left this history as a legacy to his descendents.

He is survived by daughter, Kay James DeLeeuw of Tomball, TX; son, Robert M. James of New York City; grandchildren, Diann DeLeeuw Watson, Kristin DeLeeuw Bradfield, and Megan DeLeeuw Whatley all of Austin, TX, Pete DeLeeuw IV of Hockley, TX; and great-grandchildren, Kyle Watson, Grant Watson, Jack Watson, Hayes Watson, William Whatley, Owen Whatley, Margaret Bradfield, and MaryBelle Bradfield, all of Austin, TX.

His beloved wife of 65 years, Margaret, predeceased him in 2005

A burial service will be held on September 29 at 11:00 a.m. at Ozarks Memorial Park Cemetery in Branson, Missouri with full military honors.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests a donation to Drury University (www.drury. edu) or the American Cancer Society ( in his name.