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James Tarwater Sr
James Tarwater Sr 1932-2016
James G. Tarwater, Sr. beloved husband, father, brother, grandfather, great-grandfather and friend went to be with Christ the Lord at the age of 84 in Pensacola, Florida on Wednesday, May 25th, 2016. James Gerald Tarwater, Sr. (Jim) was born on February 5, 1932 at home in Sevierville, Tennessee and passed away at Baptist Hospital. He was a retired chemical engineer who spent almost 3 decades with Chemstrand/ Monsanto in a number of roles and mentored many young engineers over the course of his career. He was a graduate of Hillsboro High School in Tampa, Florida where he played center for the varsity football team. Immediately after graduation in 1950 he joined the U.S. Air Force and served during the time of the Korean War. He married his beloved Jo Alice Aiken Tarwater in 1951. They were married for 59 years at the time of her death in 2010. They had four children, Michael, Barbara, Sam and Jim, Jr. Michael was born during Jim’s time at Shepard Air Force Base in Texas. Upon completion of his military service they moved to Tampa where Barbara was born while he was enrolled at the University of Tampa receiving his degree in chemical engineering. He began his career with Chemstrand, in Pensacola, after graduation. When the company asked him to move to work at its plant in Greenwood, SC he moved the family there for a few years. Sam was born in Greenwood and not long after, Jim received an offer to go to work for National Plastics outside of Baltimore, Maryland. Jim, Jr. was born in Annapolis, Maryland. After one winter of shoveling record levels of snow he rejoined Chemstrand in Pensacola, which became their permanent home. Their children grew up and attended public schools there as Jo Alice taught school (later becoming Assistant Superintendent) and Jim became heavily involved in youth athletics both inside and outside the school system, from coaching flag football and little league teams, to significant volunteer work for the football program at Woodham High School. As he continued his career with what became Monsanto he earned an MBA from the University of West Florida and used his education and experience managing and mentoring young engineers in Research and Development at the Pensacola plant. There isn’t sufficient space to name them all, but he absolutely loved the folks he worked with and always had an incredibly interesting or humorous story to share. In fact, he loved people. It can be truly said of him that he never met a stranger. If you didn’t know him as you approached him in a store or a restaurant you would more than likely know him before you left. With a wonderful sense of humor, a quick wit and a heart of gold he was indeed a people person. Later in his life as he rolled around in his electric wheelchair he would tell people that he was a youngster trapped in an 80 plus year old body. He was right. Though he was a husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather, he was in a certain way still that life-loving little boy inside, who grew up in East Tennessee with a curious mind and an adventurous spirit. He recently told his children that he wanted to be remembered as one who never quit, never gave up. That is so true of him. When others would have thrown in the towel with the list of ailments and infirmities he had, he never quit. He is with Jesus now, infirmities healed, no need for that chair. Thanks be to God. In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his beloved wife, Jo Alice and his younger brother Kenny. Surviving are his children Michael Tarwater and wife, Ann, of Charlotte, NC; Barbara Tarwater and husband, Ray Varnadore, of Pensacola, FL; Dr. Sam Tarwater and wife, Jeanne, of Dothan, AL; James G. Tarwater, Jr. and wife, Anne, of Franklin, TN; grandchildren Kathryn T. Pittman and husband, Dr. Daniel Pittman, of Dothan, AL; Allison Tarwater of Charlotte, NC; Michael Tarwater, Jr. and wife, Julia, of Charlotte, NC; Dr. Samantha JoAlice Annas and husband Bobby Annas of Gainesville, FL; Joseph Tarwater and wife, Brittany, of Birmingham, AL; Andrew Tarwater and wife, Rebecca, of Birmingham, AL; Ruthie Gravlee, and husband, Jonathan Gravlee, of Birmingham, AL; Eliza, James G. III (Jerry) and Rose Tarwater of Franklin, TN; great-grandchildren Alice, Jack and Lib Pittman of Dothan, AL; and Michael (Tripp) and Eleanor Tarwater of Charlotte, NC, with two more on the way; and his long-time canine companion, Freckles, of Pensacola. The family will receive friends at Pensacola Memorial Gardens Funeral Home on Sunday, June 19, 2016 from 6pm 8pm. A private, family service will be held at Barrancas National Cemetery at a later date. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorials be made to Levine Children’s Hospital/Child Life Fund, c/o Carolinas HealthCare Foundation, 208 East Blvd. Charlotte, NC 28203. Arrangements are in the care of Pensacola Memorial Gardens and Funeral Home, 7433 Pine Forrest Road, Pensacola, FL 32526.