He founded, acquired, and/or managed manufacturing and sales operations in bakery, candy, and other food-industry businesses, including a bakery company in Atlanta that was later sold to Pet Foods in 1966. He then managed several divisions of Pet Foods.
He also acquired a controlling interest in the Standard Candy Co. in Nashville, Tenn. He was a director of the National Confectioners Association and was active in many other business and community groups back in Georgia.
He retired from business in 1979 but remained a leader of many other business and community groups for many years afterward, including board chairman of Dodge County Hospital, director of the Georgia Freight Bureau, chairman of the Georgia Business and Industry Association, a director of the Heart of Georgia Technical Institute, and council member of the Boy Scouts of America.
For a time, he was an appointed interim commissioner of Dodge County. He was also longtime director of a bank and of a local library, and a trustee of Presbyterian College.
Jim died at home Oct. 25, 2018, at age 94. He was predeceased by his wife of 61 years, Marilyn. Jim is survived by children James W. Jr., Kenneth, Neil, Melissa, and Meredith; 13 grandchildren; brother Jonah; and sister Leila.