James was born and raised in Iowa and graduated from the University of Northern Iowa in 1954. He served in the US Army from 1954 -1956 in Japan and taught in Iowa at Marshalltown High school from 1956 to 1962. His teaching career with DoDDS took him back to Japan in 1962 where he taught business education at Johnson HS. It was there that he met and married his wife Nancie. In 1964 they moved to Germany where he taught for 2 more years at Kaiserslautern HS.
Upon his return to the states, he taught at Malcolm Price Laboratory School. He earned his PhD from the University of Northern Colorado and taught in the UNI College of Business until his retirement in 1990.
He was active in many professional organizations at local, state, and national levels and received numerous awards for outstanding achievement and leadership in the field of Business Education. During retirement, Jim was an active volunteer with his church and various community groups. He twice received the Mayors’ Volunteer Performance Award and received the Alumni Service Award from UNI in 1999.
James passed away in January of 2008 after a 22 year battle with cancer.
He is survived by his wife of 44 years, Nancie, and his children Mellisa, Eric, and Stephen.