James (Jim) W. Black

James W. Black, currently of Topeka, KS and long time resident of Lawrence, KS, died of pancreatic cancer on November 14th, 2011 in his home in Topeka. Jim was born in 1928 in Hutchinson, Kansas, one of six children born to Charles B. and Margaret E. Black.
Jim graduated from Lawrence Liberty Memorial High School (1946) and the University of Kansas with a degree in Civil Engineering (1951). He married Edith Ann Elam in 1951 and they had four children. Jim served five years in the US Army including missile development at Redstone Arsenal in Huntsville, AL, and was discharged as a Captain in 1956. He was active in the Lawrence community including the Boy Scouts, past president of the Optimist Club, United Fund drive chairman and president, and served on the board of directors of the Lawrence Chamber of Commerce. In 1957, he was the Lawrence Jaycees’ Outstanding Young Man of the Year. He served as Lawrence City Commissioner from 1967-1971. Jim worked as a general contractor throughout his life, focusing much of his career in residential construction before moving into commercial work during his later years. He retired in 2001. He and his family enjoyed many years canoeing in the Ozarks and in more recent years grew to love ballooning in the Topeka area and Albuquerque, NM.
He is survived by his partner Louise Schmidt of Topeka, KS ; his sisters Cara Taft of Pauma Valley, CA and Margaret (Ben) Hall of Bellevue, WA, and brother, Frank (Ginger) Black of Denver, CO; four children: Randy (Pam) of Denver, CO; Chris of Budapest, Hungary; Beth (Gail) of Albuquerque, NM; and Steve (Carolyn) of Colorado Springs, CO; grandchildren Sarah (Matt) Krump of Broomfield, CO; Travis (Jillian) Black of Washington, DC; Travis (Jenny) Miller of San Clemente, CA; area nephews Mike Black of Lawrence and Rob (Judy) Black of Lenexa; extended family of Melanie (Craig) Trapp of Topeka, KS; Mike (Evelyn) Schmidt of Topeka, KS; and Lisa (Drew) Wilson of Overland Park, KS. He was predeceased by his brothers Charles B. Jr, (1992) and Robert B. Black (1949).
A private memorial service has already taken place. Online condolences may be made at jameswillisblack@comcast.net. The family is grateful to the staff at St. Francis Hospital and Midland Care Hospice for their compassionate and considerable support in the last weeks of his life.