He returned to the United States to begin his college years, acquiring Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in chemistry from Louisiana State University, and his Ph.D. in chemistry from the University of Texas. Early in his academic career his passion for Roman history led him to consider studying history, but he decided that the exciting developments in chemistry were too compelling to pass up.
Prior to attending UT, he put his knowledge of chemistry to good use in the United States Air Force where he served his nation proudly as a First Lieutenant during the Korean conflict. His role in the Air Force was not combat but science, as he worked as a project engineer developing a system of reclamation for photographic wash water.
He began his career as a research chemist at DuPont in 1958 and ended up at the Sabine River Works in 1963 where he met the love of his life, Barbara Stephens, and swept her off her feet with his red Corvette. This was an exciting time for him as he not only met the woman he would marry but also found the faith that would shape and guide the rest of his life. He was baptized at First Baptist Church in Orange and became a devoted member of that church.
When his daughter Jennifer was born in 1966, his red Corvette days were over, but the fun was just starting. Amy followed in 1968 and Walter in 1971, and the circle was complete.
Jim continued to enjoy traveling and loved taking his family all over world. Special highlights were two trips to the Holy Land with friends from First Baptist Church.
In 1984, DuPont transferred him to London to set up a lab at Hemel Hempstead to spearhead the Hypalon project for the European operations of the company. Those were the good times. When he wasn’t working to make the world a better place through chemistry, Jim was touring with his family all over England, Scotland, Wales, Ireland, and continental Europe.