james lee mcdiarmid

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November 1, 1939 ~ June 8, 2022

James Lee McDiarmid passed away June 8, 2022, at Hospice House in Pittsboro.

James was born on November 1, 1939, in Storm Lake, Iowa, the son of Ted and Catherine McDiarmid.

Jim grew up in that small Northwestern Iowa town built around a lake enjoying its recreational opportunities: fishing, ice fishing, swimming, lifeguarding, and duck hunting. He graduated from Storm Lake High School in 1957. A week after graduation, he enlisted in the Marines serving as a radio operator and rifle coach in Southeast Asia.

After the military he came home to earn a Bachelor’s degree from Buena Vista College, than a Master’s Degree from the University of Nebraska. He returned to Beuna Vista College to teach and direct its public relations and fundraising. Subsequently, he worked at Cottey College and Fontbonne University in Missouri. His career in public relations and fundraising continued at Abbott-Northwestern Hospital in Minneapolis, Minnesota. A sabbatical leave from the University of Minnesota provided a year of study in Scotland, a medical center in Seattle and at California State University.

He retired in 1997 and moved to North Carolina where his three children lived. In semi-retirement, he contracted as a teacher with the Navy and taught for five years, mostly aboard aircraft carriers in various parts of the world. In later years, he enjoyed writing stories about family, friends, his life experiences and reflecting on the 22 marathons he’s run. He took up longbow archery and competed in local Senior Games. Jim was an avid reader, always carrying a book of biography, politics, or John le Carre spy novels. Due to his many lifetime moves his hometown classmates were particularly important to and gave opportunity for letter writing or phone calls while he took breaks with Buddy, his favorite dog.

Survivors inclufe his three children: Matthew McDiarmid (Kimmel), of Pittsboro; Stephanie Lilly (Ronnie) of Pittsboro; Ian Cage, Hendersonville, N.C.; grandchildren, Madison and Catherine McDiarmid, Travis and Hunter Lilly; great-grandchildren, Aiden and Gavin Baker, and former wife, Marolyn McDiarmid.

Celebration of Life services will be announced.