WEBB CITY, Mo. —
William Terry James, age 81, of Webb City, Mo., passed away at 4:25 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 4, 2011.
Terry was born June 9, 1930, in Webb City, and had lived in Webb City most of his life.
Following graduation from Webb City High School Terry attended the former Joplin Junior College and at the same time held employment with the Webb Corporation. He was employed there from 1947 to 1968, when he accepted employment with Cardinal Scale Manufacturing Company. In 1972, he became a certified engineer. In 1976, he graduated from the former Missouri Southern State College with a bachelor degree in management technology. He retired in 1995, from Cardinal Scale with 27 years of service. Terry was also a 25 year member of the Missouri National Guard, and seven year member of the U.S. Army Reserves, retiring in 1979, with the rank of colonel.
Terry was a member of the First Presbyterian Church of Joplin and was a long time member of the First Presbyterian Church of Webb City. He served as a lay minister, deacon, elder, Sunday School teacher, and choir member. He was a former member of the City Council of Webb City, the Webb City Public Library Board, the Jane Chinn Hospital Board, the Missouri Southern State University Board of Governors, the Webb City R-7 Hall of Fame Committee, and the Jasper County Association of Social Services. He was a 50 year member and past master of the Oronogo Lodge No. 471 A.F.&A.M. In 1973, Terry was elected to the Webb City R-7 School Board and served continuously until 2008. His 35 year tenure is the record length of service for any board member in the history of the school district. One of his proudest moments was when the Board of Education voted to honor his mother and her family by naming the new kindergarten facility the Madge T. James Kindergarten Center in 1998, where one of his daughters is the principal. In 2008, Terry received the Distinguished Citizen Award from the Webb City R-7 School Foundation.